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JlDITED BY p. ji. J&ORTOH, f. fj. $>. 

(The Autliors having revised their own Papers, are alone responsible 
for the facts and opinions expressed in them.) , 












Proceedings at the Meetings , 8 

Semmons, W. On Some Pseudormorphs of Ghrysocolla after 

Ataoamite 7 

RicKKTTS, C, M.D., F.G.S. On Some Remarkable Pebbles in, the 

Boulder-clay , . . . . 10 

Morgan, A. A Review of Dr. F. V. Hayden's Geological and 

Topographical Atlas of Colorado, with a Sketch of the 

Geology of North- Western America IS 

Stbahan, A., M.A., F.G.S. On Some Glacial Striae on the North 

Wales Coast 44 

Mabbat, F. P. Recent and Fossil Nassa 47 

Mackintosh, D., F.G.S. On the Inter-Glacial Age of the Cave- 
Mammalia 59 

Brown, J. C., D.Sc, F.C.S. Analysis of Rooks from the 1,300 

feet Deep Bore-hole at Bootle 63 

Rbade, T. M., C.B., F.G.S. Notes on the Scenery and Geology 

of Ireland 64 

Proceedings at the Meetings 95 

President's Address — W. Semmons 98 

Rickbtts, C, M.D., F.G.S. On the Carboniferous Limestone 

near Skipton, and in North Derbyshire 132 

Reads, T. M., C.E., F.G.S. The Glacial Beds of the Clyde and 

Forth 139 

Eskbiggb, R. A., F.G.S. Notes on Human Skeletons and Traces 

of Human Workmanship found in a Cave at Llandudno. . . . 163 
Daweins, Boyd, Prof., F.R.S. Memorandum on the Remains 

found in the same Cave 156 

Proceedings at the Meetings 167 

President's Address— W. Semmons 171 

Rickbtts, C, M.D., F.G.S. On Split and Other Boulders 193 

Mobton, G. H., F.G.S. On the Carboniferous Limestone of 

Gower, compared with that of North Wales 201 

Archer, F., B.A. Notes on the Worked Flints of the Raised 

Beaches of the N.E. Coast of Ireland 209 

Rbade, T. M., C.E., F.G.S. Notes on the Southern Drifts of 

England and Wales J") 216 

4068 1 8 




Roberts, I., F.G.S. Notes on the Strata and Water Lievel at 

Maghull 233 

Morton, G. H., F.G.S. List of Papers on the Geology of the 

Country around Liverpool since 1870 237 

Proceedings at the Meetings 263 

Morton, G. H. ? F.G.S. Notice of the Recent Fall of an Aerolite 

near Middlebrough, Yorkshire 263 

^f\f Mackintosh, D., F.G.S. Traces of an Interglacial Surface at Crewe 267 
\/ Beads, T. M., C.E., F.G.S. On a Section of the Formby and 

Leasowe Marine Beds, and superior Peat Bed, disclosed by 

the Cuttings for the Outlet Sewer at Hightown 277 

Moobe, T. J., G.M.Z.S.L. Notes on the Mammalian Remains 

from Hightown 277 

Ward, X^ The Subsidences of Land in. the Salt Districts of 
l Cheshire, and their Connection with the Manufacture of Salt. 281 

j Morton, G. H., F.G.S. The Carboniferous Limestone and 

Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone of Flintshire 297 

Morton, G. H., F.G.S. The Base of the New Bed Sandstone in 

. the Country around Liverpool 321 

Proceedings of the Meetings 346 

President's Address — D. Mackintosh, F.G.S. On the Post- 

tertiary Changes of Level around the Coast of England and 

Wales * 349 

t Reade, T. M., C.E., F.G.S. A Traverse of the Yorkshire Drift. . 364 

r^K Morton, G. H., F.G.S. The Carboniferous Limestone and Cefn- 


y-Fedw Sandstone of Flintshire. Part II. The Country to 
the North of Mold 381 

Morton, G. H., F.G.S. Notes on the Carboniferous Limestone 
* of Belgium, made during a recent Visit to that Country. 

(Abstract.) 404 

Morton, G. H., F.G.S. Description of a Geological Map of the 

Storeton Quarries, Cheshire. (Abstract.) 406 

Proceedings at the Meetings 414 

President's Address— D. Mackintosh, F.G.S. The Time which 

has elapsed since the close of the Glacial Period . , 417 

Morton, G. H., F.G.S. Section across the Trias recently exposed 

in a Railway Excavation in Liverpool 427 

Reade, T. M., F.G.S. Experiments on the Circulation of Water 

in Sandstone 434 

Ricketts, C, F.G.S. On Indented Pebbles in the Bunter Sand- 
stone, near Prescot 147 

. List of Members , 450 



or THE 

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( The Authors having revised their own papers, are alone responsible 
for the facts and opinions expressed in them.) 






OFFICERS, 1878-9. 





Ex- President* 


Honorary Treasurer* 


Honorary librarian* 


fonoraru Secretary 



gounciL ! 






OCTOBER 8th, 1878. 

The Vice-Pbesident, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the 


Granville Oldfield Jackson was elected an Ordinary 
Member of the Society. 

The Anniversary Address was read by the Vice- 

NOVEMBER 12th, 1878. 

The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

W. H. Addison, John James Wood, William H. 
Quilliam, and Thomas Stone were elected Ordinary 
Members of the Society. 

The following communications were read: — 



By William Semmokb. 


By C. E. db Rance, F.G.S., Assoc. Inst. C.E., and of 

H.M. Geological Surrey. 



By Charles Ricketts, M.D., F.G.S. 

DECEMBER 10th, 1878. 

The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

The following communication was read : — 

LLANGOLLEN. (Printed in Vol. III.) 

By George H. Morton, F.G.S. 

JANUARY 14th, 1879. 

The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

The following communications were read: — 

By Alfred Morgan. 



By Aubrey Strahan, M.A., F.G.S. 

By permission of the Director-General of the Geological Survey. 

FEBEUAEY 11th, 1879. 
The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

The following communications were read : — 
By F. P. Marrat. 



The apparently Sudden Introduction of Man; the Mental 
Capacity of the Cave-Men of France; and the Short- 
ness of the Time which has elapsed since the Close of 
the last Glacial Period. 

By Daniel Mackintosh, F.G.S. 


MAECH 11th, 1879. 

The Pbesidknt, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

Daniel Mackintosh, F.6.S., was elected an Ordinary 
Member of the Society. 

The following communications were read : — 


By J. Campbell Brown, D.Sc, F.C.S. 



By T. Mellard Readh, C.E., F.G.S. 



By W. Sbmmons. 

The crystalline forms assumed by various minerals, by 
their regularity of shape and beauty of colour, attract 
the attention of even most casual observers. 

"Flowers of the stony world," they are frequently 
and truly called. 

The marvellous play of forces during their formation 
is graphically and enthusiastically portrayed by Prof. 
Tyndall, in his "Forms of Water." 

The occurrence of crystals in our metallic veins at 
the greatest depths yet reached, shows the same forces 
have been and are at work in the filling up of these 
repositories of our mineral wealth. 

Pseudomorphic crystals possess further features of 
interest, particularly those of the Metasomatic class. 

Hypostatic pseudomorphs are of interest as showing 
the relative ages of deposits ; but Metasomatic still more 
so, as showing not only this fact, but also the changes 
which, taking place on a large scale, give rise to our 
Gossans and Kaolins. From pseudomorphs are con- 
firmed the conclusions drawn from other sources as to 
the derivation of the immense masses of Brown Iron 
Ore which cap the deposits of Cupreous pyrites in Spain 
and Portugal, and which on a smaller scale are to be 
seen in the Gossans on the backs of lodes in Cornwall 
and elsewhere. 


The Metasomatic pseudomorphs which I have the 
honour of laying before you this evening — viz., of Chry- 
socolla after Atacamite, are, I believe, now noticed for 
the first time. 

Prom correspondence with which I have been favoured 
by Prof. Euddler, F.G.S., Mr. Thos. Davies, F.G.S., of 
the British Museum, and others, I find that Chrysocolla, 
though evidently derived often from the decomposition 
of other ores of Copper, has only been noticed as yet 
pseudomorphic after Malachite, Chalcophyllite, Cuprite, 
Libethenite (ores of Copper), Galena and Cerussite 
(ores of Lead), and Barytes. 

In my examination of some Chilian ores I was, whilst 
looking for crystals of Dioptase, much struck with the 
occurrence of a mass of small crystals which possessed 
the peculiar lustre of Chrysocolla. On a close examina- 
tion I found many of the crystals were broken, and these 
revealed the fact that the interior portion in some cases 
consisted of the chloride (Atacamite). Testing with the 
blow-pipe, I found the external portions of these partially 
decomposed crystals to be quite infusible, and character- 
istic of Chrysocolla, while the interior gave the beautiful 
blue flame characteristic of Atacamite. The further 
test of solution in hydrochloric acid showed the presence 
of gelatinous Silica. In this stone the crystals are the 
ordinary form of Atacamite. 

No. 2 shows a mass of interlacing crystals, many of 
which are only partially, but some wholly converted into 
Chrysocolla. The proof of their origin can be clearly 
traced, as the main mass of the amorphous portion still 
remains as unaltered Atacamite. 

No. 8, from another locality, is a stone of the greatest 
interest. The Atacamite has almost wholly disappeared. 

Where it remains it is as a fine powder in the centre of 
the crystal. One crystal accidentally broken across 
shows a central cavity similar to those found in the 
interesting pseudomorphs of Galena after Pyromorphite. 

In my paper on the Chrysocolla group (Proc. L'pool 
Geological Society, 1877-8), I showed that the order of 
deposition in the Chili deposits seemed to be Chloride, 
Carbonate, and Silicate ; and some stones I afterwards 
found confirmed this, as we have crystals of Malachite 
set up in a matrix of Chloride. These have been after- 
wards coated by Silicate, and sometimes probably con- 
verted into it. The close connection of volcanic energy 
with carbonated and silicated waters naturally leads to 
the supposition that this ore has been first deposited as 
a Chloride (a well-known volcanic product) and has after- 
wards been acted on by such waters. The occurrence of 
pebbles, too, much water- worn, in one of the veins, lends 
further evidence to the fact of water action being at one 
time active. These pebbles I only discovered very lately, 
and I have not yet ascertained their chemical composi- 
tion. In the paper above referred to I noticed the very 
remarkable fact that whilst in company with my friend 
Mr. W. M. Hutchings, of the Freiburg School of Mines, 
I had examined thousands of tons of Chrysocolla from 
the Mexican mines, we had failed to detect a single 
crystal of the Silicate of Copper. Shortly after this we 
found, on examining some from Chili, several small 
crystals of Dioptase, and these were described by Dr. 
Burghardt before the Manchester Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society. It seems, however, from information 
kindly furnished me by Mr. Thomas Davies, F.G.S., of 
the British Museum, that the National collection already 
contained several specimens of Chili Dioptase. 


The interesting pseudomorph which forms the subject 
of this communication has, up to the present, no repre- 
sentative in our noble National collection; but it is 
rather on account of the knowledge it gives us of some 
of the forces at work below the surface of the Globe, 
that I bring it forward to the notice of Geologists. 



By Charles Ricketts, M.D., P.G.S. 

Erratic pebbles, ice-marked and otherwise eroded, occur 
so abundantly in the Boulder-clay of Cheshire and 
Lancashire, that they can never have escaped observa- 
tion. There are others not so exceedingly infrequent 
which, with evidences of similar erosion, bear also indi- 
cations of weathering, but in such peculiar forms that it 
must have occurred under circumstances very different 
from what prevails at the present time in any locality 
from which these pebbles could, by any possibility, have 
been originally derived. 

Large blocks of Granite and Trap (Figs. 1 and 2), 
and also of sandstone are occasionally met with, having 
their surfaces entirely free from ice-marks, and are 
weathered all over, excepting at a neck-like portion, 
where they have been broken off as at a joint. In such 
examples the disintegration may have occurred whilst in 
their original position. Such appears certainly to have 
been the circumstances under which the sculpturing has 
occurred in an example of Silurian Grit; the strata 
standing out in relief, or forming hollows, according as 



the material is harder or softer in texture; whilst the 
under surface has been simply separated along the bed. 
It appears as if this remarkable specimen had formed 
the summit of a pinnacle of rock (Fig. 8). In many 
examples of different varieties of rock, where old joints 
have been cemented together by a harder material, such 
as quartz, these stand out in bold relief; erosion not 
having occurred in them to an extent equal to that of 
the more easily disintegrated matrix. 

Blocks of Granite, of various kinds, and derived from 
different localities, are abundant in the Boulder-clay. 
The surfaces of some are weathered and rough, whilst 
others are smooth and polished; many of them are more 
or less disintegrated, not unfrequently to such an extent 
that, though when in situ each granule remains in its 
relative position as when first formed, the mass cannot 
be handled without immediately falling into pieces ; even 
with many of these blocks a careful examination indicates 
that they have been previously subjected to ice-polishing. 
A similar condition is also frequent with many volcanic 
rocks. In some the rock is rotten throughout, and peels off 
in layers; where this occurs, but has not progressed to so 
great an extent, the centre remains unaffected, forming 
a mass of a more or less globular form. The existence 
of these disintegrated boulders have been noticed by 
others, but no attempt has been made to determine the 
causes of their peculiar condition. In other Trap boul- 
ders having a different character the whole surface has 
been roughened and honeycombed; sometimes portions 
have escaped this erosion and project beyond the wea- 
thered surface; or grooves or hollows have been formed 
in the block. The projections when flat or smooth, 
especially if also covered with striae, prove a previous 
exposure to glacier-action, In Porphyries the more 


indestructible crystalline materials also protrude beyond 
the eroded surface. It is of constant occurrence and 
common to a variety of different conditions of weathering 
in rocks of volcanic origin, that, when found in situ in 
the Boulder-clay, or shortly after being thrown out by 
the workmen, they are covered, and the hollows filled, 
with a light green powder combined with other minute 
fragments of the disintegrated mass. These particles 
adhere so little amongst themselves, that the first heavy 
shower washes all away. 

A very large proportion, amounting probably to nearly 
a third of the Carboniferous Limestone pebbles, bear marks 
of weathering, extending to a greater or less depth, and 
occurring in a variety of ways. In most cases this has 
occurred subsequent to their having been exposed to 
glacier-action. The most frequent form is that of chan- 
nels or grooves hollowed out in the blocks (Fig. 4); 
organisms — such as fragments of Encrinites, &c. — pro- 
ject above their surface/ but there are seldom any remains 
of the disintegrated rock found in them. This chemical 
erosion affects also the ice scratches, generally to a short 
distance only from the grooves. In others the surface 
has been eroded over a considerable space, whilst the 
remainder continues intact and the ice marks unaffected 
(Fig. 5). One glaciated limestone pebble, found in situ 
in the Boulder-clay, is split into four portions, and has 
other fractures in process of formation; the sides of the 
joints, as well as the outer surface close to them, have 
been affected by chemical erosion (Fig. 6). Other speci- 
mens of Carboniferous Limestone bear indications of a 
similar fracture and erosion having occurred since they 
were glaciated, but, being found in stone heaps, detached 
fragments only were obtained. 

Quartzite pebbles have been met with in three 


instances bearing grooves or channels very similar in 
appearance to those in some of the blocks of Carbonife- 
rous limestone; the most remarkable is large and 
rounded, and is such as might have been derived from 
the Old Bed Sandstone Conglomerate of Scotland (Fig. 7) ; 
it was apparently solid, but the blow of a hammer proved 
it to be full of concealed joints, indicative of another 
form of prolonged weathering. 

The most frequent form in which pebbles derived 
from stratified and slaty rocks show the effects of atmos- 
pheric action is by splitting into several fragments at 
joints. These are often found exactly in apposition. Occa- 
sionallybut necessarily very rarely, one portion is separated 
from the other with a short distance between them ; indi- 
cating the occurrence of a brief interval of time in the drop- 
ping of the fragments; the example exhibited (Fig. 8) 
is also covered on one side with glacial striae ; a portion 
of the other being eroded, as from the action of running 
water holding sand in suspension. This circumstance is 
not of very unusual occurrence. In other instances one 
or more pieces are split off from the original pebble, but 
still remain in apposition, whilst another surface, not in 
any way eroded, bears evidence that there has been a 
similar interval between its fall and that of the portion 
which is missing. Similar detached fragments of pebbles 
are constantly found in the stone-heaps, and frequently 
also in the clay. They must be portions which have 
split off and become separate since glaciation or other 
erosion has occurred. 

A considerable amount of attention to the process of 
weathering, now taking place in various kinds of rock, 
has failed to afford evidence of the mode in which these 
erratic pebbles have been acted on. The examination of 
the whole series renders it evident that it has occurred 



under exceptional circumstances; though exposed to 
such an amount of atmospheric disintegration as in 
many instances to render the rock rotten throughout, 
they have been so protected that the materials were not 
carried away by rains or the wash of water, but have 
remained in exact contact until they were deposited from 
icebergs on the muddy bed of this glacial sea, A careful 
consideration of the effects produced on them, and of the 
conditions of climate, &c, known to have prevailed at 
the time, have induced the conviction that they have 
formed portions of moraines on land, when, after having 
been repeatedly subjected to a succession of intervals of 
frost and thaw, a temporary change of climate has 
increased the snow-fall, and caused the glacier to extend 
itself, and in its progress carry forward this accumula- 
tion, as an integral part of its substance, into the sea, 
either directly or by uniting with another and main 
glacier, from which the bergs have broken off that con- 
veyed away these boulders; that is to say, that an 
advance and retreat of glaciers has occurred similar to 
those of which there is record of having taken place at 
intervals in Greenland within 25 or 30 years.* 

No opportunities have been afforded of examining 
moraine accumulations in which Granite or Trap rock 
enter to any amount into their composition ; but there is 
no difficulty in the supposition that boulders of either, 
exposed to repeated alternations of freezing and thaw- 
ing, might become disintegrated, and, if embedded in 
moraine debris, each particle would remain in its relative 
position. Such would be but an illustration, after pro- 
longed repetitions in a compact rock, of what occurs, as 

* "On the Fiords, Lakes, and Cirques of Norway and Greenland"; 
by Amund Holland, Fellow of the University of Christiania. — Quar. 
Journ. Geol. Soc, vol. xxxiii, page 142. 


a consequence of exposure to a single night's frost, in the 
case of chalk saturated with moisture, which on thawing 
immediately falls into innumerable fragments. A most 
remarkable collection of dark green blocks of rotten Trap 
rock, unmixed with other boulders, was exposed during 
the construction of the Bootle docks, where an immense 
number of them, embedded in a light green sandy 
matrix, formed an accumulation which was very conspi- 
cuous, its colour being a marked contrast with that 
of the Boulder-clay (see Section Fig 9). Its deposition 
must have occurred in the same manner as the patches 
of loose sand, frequently seen in the Boulder-clay, which 
have been derived from the disintegration of Triassic 
rock; the materials exactly resembling some moraine 
accumulations in the bottom of the valleys, being the 
base on which the Boulder-clay rests there, and pro- 
bably has formed an integral portion of an iceberg from 
which it has dropped on melting. 

Observations I have been enabled to make in a few 
examples of moraines containing rock-fragments of dif- 
ferent characters are to no inconsiderable extent confir- 
matory of the opinion I had formed. At the southern 
extremity of the Longmynd, near Linley Hall, and near 
Batch, 3£ miles south of Church Stretton, there are 
accumulations of pebbles derived from the Longmynd 
Bange, some of which being ice-marked confirm their 
glacier-origin. Amongst them were several broken into 
fragments, each of which, though entirely separate, 
remains exactly in apposition. The same is also the 
case in many, composed of Silurian grit found in the 
terminal moraine at Carnforth Station, Lancashire, and 
in greater proportion in a lateral moraine cut through by 
the tramway leading to the quarries at Warton Crag, 
belonging to the Carnforth Ironworks Company, in 


which, as well as at another lateral moraine in the 
approach to the back entrance to Morecambe Lodge, 
Yealand Conyers, a considerable number of glaciated 
Carboniferous Limestone boulders were also found split 
into two or many pieces, but still remaining in their 
relative positions. 

It is impossible to conceive that, without the position 
of the fragments being disturbed, such fractures at joints 
could have progressed to entire separation, if the occur- 
rence had taken place whilst they were situated beneath, 
or even when enveloped in a glacier; it is, therefore, 
evident that it must have happened subsequently; in all 
probability caused, as I have suggested, by having been 
repeatedly frozen and thawed whilst the boulders formed 
a portion of a moraine. 

Many of the Carboniferous Limestone pebbles at 
Warton Crag, at Yealand, and near Leighton'Hall, were 
not only glaciated but portions of their surface were also 
weathered in a similar manner to some in the Boulder- 
clay. Of each example corresponding forms have been 
found on those occurring in the latter; but the relative 
frequency of the occurrence of weathering is much less 
in pebbles in these moraines than in those in the 
Boulder-clay. This maybe due to local causes; at these 
places the matrix in which they are embedded is a highly 
calcareous mud, and the tendency is much greater to 
form a calcareous deposit upon them than to occasion 
their erosion. 

The presence in moraine accumulations of these 
weathered boulders, exactly resembling some found in 
the Boulder-clay, confirms the correctness of the infer- 
ences drawn from the examination of those in the latter; 
that they had formed integral portions of moraines until 
upon temporary increase of the glaciers to which they 


■/ (Zirbvruferous limi-.stok 

7. Quartette, 


owed their origin they were swept forward until, floating 
away in icebergs, they were deposited where found. The 
existence of them, both in moraines and also in the 
Boulder-clay, also illustrates what had been deduced 
from other evidences resulting from previous investiga- 
tions in the Valley of the Mersey, that the accumulation 
of snow during what is called the Glacial Period in the 
different valleys of 1his portion of the British Isles was 
not greater than " might reasonably be considered due 
to the amount of deposition on their respective water- 

*"The Conditions existing daring the Glacial Period," Ac. By 
Charles Ricketts. — Proceedings of the Liverpool Geological Society, 


Fig. 1. — A block of weathered Granite broken off at a joint. Greatest 
diameter, 21 inches. 

Fig. 2. — A similar mass of Basalt. — 24 inches. 

Fio. 3. — Weathered Silurian Grit. — 4 inches. 

Fig. 4. — Glaciated Carboniferous Limestone with eroded channels, 
| from one of which a perforation passes through the block, 

a thickness of four inches, at an old joint. — 14 inches. 

Fig. 5. — Limestone, glaciated and eroded. — 9 inches. 

Fig. 6. — Limestone pebble, glaciated, eroded, and fractured into four 
fragments. — 5 inches. 

Fig. 7. — Bounded Quartzite, with weathered grooves. — 6 inches. 

Fig. 8. — Silurian Grit, glaciated and fractured ; the fragments separate, 
as in situ, — 3£ inches. 

Fig 9.— Section at Bootle Dock. — a. Trias. 6. Gravel and Sand. 
c. Boulder-clay. d. A light green sandy accumulation, 
containing numerous boulders of disintegrated Trap rock. 




By Alfred Morgan. 

The " Atlas of Colorado/ ' lately published by the 
" United States' Geological and Geographical Survey of 
the Territories," under the direction of Professor F. V. 
Hayden, constitutes one of the most important contribu- 
tions to geological science made during the year that has 
just passed away. By its means we are enabled to get a 
general and comprehensive view of the geology, etc., of 
that extensive and most interesting region ; and to ar- 
rive at a more definite conception of the order, sequence, 
and extension of the great formations of the North-West. 
It may be regarded as the key to that vast geological 
system, which embraces within its compass the greater 
portion of the North American continent; and which 
is bounded on its eastern side by the Missouri and 
Mississippi Rivers, and on its western coast by the 
Pacific Ocean. 

Geologists have been much indebted to this survey for 
many valuable publications relating to the former history 
of the western territories, and Reports and Monographs 
have appeared with a rapidity that attests the energy 
and enthusiasm of the corps. In these volumes we find 
great stores of information of a very varied character ; 
but it was till now difficult to grasp the subject as a 
whole ; and, it was only by comparing widely scattered 
information, that we could get any idea of the general 
outlines of the geological system. 


Studied in part, many interesting problems suggested 
themselves, and enquiries were prompted as to their 
general significance, which we are now able to follow 
out with greater certainty, and at vastly less trouble to 

But, before referring to the Atlas in detail, I will ask 
your indulgence while I speak of the survey itself. 

As many present will be aware there are several 
surveys in operation in the west, under the direction of 
departments of the United States Government. The 
best known of these is the survey of which Dr. Hayden 
is the director, and which is placed under the auspices 
of the Department of the Interior. There is also the 
survey over which Mr. Clarence King presides, and which 
operates "west of the 100th meridian." This latter 
survey is under the auspices of the Engineer Depart- 
ment of the War Office ; and a reference to its publica- 
tions, which are to be found in this society's library, 
will shew the very high character of its work. There 
are also the surveys of Lieutenant Wheeler of the War 
Department ; and of Professor Powell, whose explora- 
tions of the Colorado Eiver of the west, under the direc- 
tion of the Smithonian Institution, promises a rich 
harvest of information. 
L As readers of Nature, of the 9th inst., would see by an 

interesting article of Professor Archibald Geike's, Con- 
gress will have before it, in the course of a few weeks, a 
proposal from the American National Academy of 
Sciences to reorganise the system on which the surveys 
are at present carried on. It not infrequently happens 
that a re-duplication of work occurs. Independent 
organisations, each pursuing an independent course, and 
taking no account of the work others have done in the 
same field, sometimes publish results of a discrepant 


nature, and at other times give rise to bitter personal 
feeling and rivalry. The suggestions Mr. Geike advo- 
cates promise to alter this undesirable state of things ; 
and, if adopted by Congress, the United States will soon 
have two surveys — one a topographical survey, and the 
other a geological one ; by one or other of which all the 
work will be done upon a broader basis, and with even 
greater efficiency than at present. 

The survey, of which Dr. Hayden is the geologist in 
charge, may be said to have taken its rise in 1867, when 
the state of Nebraska was admitted to the Federal Union; 
on which occasion Congress voted an unappropriated 
fund for the purpose of a survey, of which Dr. Hayden 
had the direction. The work occupied two years, and 
so well did Dr. Hayden carry it out that, in 1869, he 
began that series of explorations under the Land Office 
which, in a year or two, became the United States Geolo- 
gical and Geographical Survey of the Territories, of the 
Interior Department, and which has made his name cele- 
brated both in Europe and America. This widespread 
recognition of his services to science must be very grati- 
fying to Dr. Hayden; and the zeal and intrepedity with 
which he has organised his forces, has produced an esprit 
de corps among all the members of his staff which is at 
once apparent to the reader of his interesting reports. It is 
pleasant to find that, though differences of opinion exist 
among his eminent colaborateurs, each discusses the 
question at issue from his own individual stand point, 
with that deference and respect that ought always to 
characterise the utterances of truth lovers, and truth 
seekers. A subject of enquiry does not present, for 
instance, the same aspect to the palaeophytologist as 
to the pakeozoologist ; and due allowance is justly 
made for "personal equation" in the discussion of it. 


Dr. Hayden invites each writer to express his own 
views fully and unreservedly without regard to other's 
hypotheses or previous theories. 

Glancing at the contents of the volumes that have 
already appeared, the territories surveyed range from 
Montana in the north, to New Mexico in the south — an 
immense stretch of some 18° of latitude. The reports 
for 1870-2 made known to the world the wonders of the 
Yellowstone country — its magnificent geysers, and its 
enchanting fairy-land of crystal grot, unique in its 
picturesque beauty. So great was the interest that was 
awakened that Congress set apart the entire territory — 
equal in extent to the whole of Wales, as a National 
Park — never to be spoiled — the recreation ground of 
the Continent, the North American Wonderland. 
l In 1878, owing to the hostility of the Indians, the 

■ field of operations was transferred to Colorado, and now 

as the result of four years work devoted to the survey of 
the state, we have in our hands this very beautiful atlas. 
In looking through the volumes that have been 
published by the survey we notice the variety of subjects 
that have been investigated. In fact, there is scarcely 
any department of natural science that has not bene- 
fitted by the labours of the survey. Ornithology, Zoology, 
Botany, Entomology, Geology, Palaeontology, and Ethno- 
* logy are subjects, on which much has been published, 

while Antiquities and Archaeology, together with Econo- 
mic Science and practical knowledge have not been 
omitted from the series. 

The elaborate Memoirs of Professors Coues and 
Allen, on the " Eodenta; " of Dr. A. S. Packard, on the 
"Geometrid Moths;" of Professor Cyrus Thomas, on the 
"Acrididae;" of Professor Meek, on the " Invertebrate 
Palaeontology;" of Professor Cope, on the "Cretaceous 



Vertebrates ;" of Professor Lesquereux, on the "Tertiary 
Flora," are works of which it is scarcely possible to speak 
in terms of too high commendation. 

The Atlas is an eminently practical work. As a 
guide to the miner and emigrant, it possesses a high 
value apart from its scientific worth. As a publication, 
it equals those of a similiar character which have been 
issued in Europe. The sumptuous excellence of its 
typography and lithography entitle it to rank with those 
livres de luxe, which have from time to time, issued from 
the National Imprimerie of France. - And, as we 
examine the details of the work, and remember that we 
are indebted to the large handed liberality of the United 
States Government, not only for it, but for so many 
other valuable donations to our library, we cannot but 
wish that the same enlightened generosity were manifested 
by our British Administration, and that those prohibitive 
prices at which so many English survey publications 
have been published, were for ever abolished. It is, 
perhaps, too much to expect, that societies like ours 
should participate in a free distribution of the maps and 
reports of our surveys, but it is only reasonable to ask 
that all such publications should be issued at prices 
which will not put them beyond the reach of those 
students who though ardent lovers of science, have to very carefully over their expenditure. 

The first four sheets of the Atlas are devoted to a 
general description of the trigonometrical base lines, 
the drainage systems, the economic features, and the 
outline of the geology of the country. We are able to 
see at a glance what is the extent of agricultural land, 
the area of pasturage and forest, the proportion of sage 
bush and bad lands, the range of mineral tracts, and 
the expansion of elevated districts situated above 


timber line. We have thus condensed in small compass 
the information of a useful nature which it would 
necessitate extensive reading to acquire : — 

I. The Triangulation Map. — The chief topographer 
of the suyvey was Mr. James T. Gardner, and his method 
of triangulation, &c, may be briefly described. 

The horizontal measurements were made by a con- 
nected system of large and small triangles, developed 
from a measured base near Denver. Four miles of 
the primary base line were measured on the track of 
the Eailway and two others over very level ground. 
Its length was twice measured with a steel tape and 
every precaution used for pressure and temperature 
effects. The tape was under 20 lbs. strain and the 
temperature was taken every five minutes. Triangular 
pyramids 30 feet high were erected on the plains by 
which the triangles were extended to the mountains, 
where roughly-built stone monuments were used to 
sight at, and the height of summit was so taken. The 
angles were measured with an 8 inch circle graduated 
to 10 inches and reading to 5 inches. The measure- 
ments were generally repeated six timds on different 
parts of the circle. 

Asimuths were observed at the principal stations by 
repeated observations between Polaris and an illumi- 
nated signal. The co-operation of the 17. S. Coast 
Survey was also given. The mean error is less than 
2 feet per mile. This is usually determined by the 
closure of the triangles, whose observed angles should 
sum up to 180°, less the spherical excess. 

The secondary triangulation was carefully carried 
out and the topography sketched on frequent occasions. 
The railway levels were used and extended, and, as a 
whole, the work was so well done that it is felt to be 
an adequate basis for all future work. 


II. The Drainage Map. — On this sheet is depicted in 
a very beautiful manner, in very delicate blue lines, the 
tributary streams and rivers of the country. The entire 
system of watershed is clearly revealed. The main and 
secondary ' divides' and the symmetrical outlines of the 
hydrographic areas are all clearly indicated. 

III. The E conomic Map. — This is an eminently useful 
sheet, and holds out quite a tempting invitation to 
colonists. The mountain regions — more particularly in 
the neighbourhood of the parks — is fertile and grassy, 
and well adapted for dairy purposes. 

Most of the hard vegetables and cereals Dr. Hayden 
observed growing at heights of 6,000 to 8,000 feet, and 
the number of agricultural settlers is rapidly increasing. 

Mining has been vigorously carried on. The little 
streams cut deep gorges, or gulches, and along these 
careful search has been made for gold, &c. Some of 
these are very rich ; and wonderful stories of productive 
placers and rich lodes are told in the Eeport for 1878. 

IV. The General Geological Map. — The lithologi- 
cal series is set down as — 

9. Quaternary. 
8. Tertiary. 

7. Post Cretaceous. 
6. Cretaceous. 

5. Jura-Trias. 
4. Carboniferous. 

8. Silurian. 

2. Metamorphic Bocks. 

1. Eruptive Eocks. 
The four maps just referred to are on the scale of 
12 miles to an inch, and constitute the first series of the 
Atlas. Before proceeding to notice the other maps in- 
cluded in the atlas I will endeavour to sketch — 



I can only do so in very general terms, however, and 
shall endeavour to trace it in its comparison with the 
formations elsewhere developed in the north-west. 

1. Eruptive Kock3 — Archaean. — These form the neu- 
cleus of the mountain chains. They consist of a great 
series of granites, schists, and gneisses, with minor masses 
of eruptive rocks, all thrown into a very complex system 
of folds, which are very difficult to trace, on account of 
the absence of any permanent features and any one 
horizon. Metamorphism has effectually obscured the 
destinctive marks which may sometimes be observed in 
a limited area. 

This crystalline unstratified series underlies the 
stratified deposits. It possesses a uniform character 
throughout the whole of the Eocky Mountain range. 
Mr. Marvine speaking of it* says: "considering the 
extent and antiquity of the formation, and the probable 
mutations of its history, its lithological character as a 
whole seem to be remarkably simple and uniform. From 
quartzite through siliceous and mica schists to very 
simple varieties of gneiss and granite, in which the mica 
is wholly subordinate, and the feldspar mostly a tabular 
and twined orthoclase, with mostly one or two triclinic 
feldspars present, and the list of rocks is complete. ,, 

Great areas are composed of simple f eldspathic granite, 
almost structureless, which generally eventuate in the 
"dome" form of outline; an outline which is probably 
developed by the eroding forces of climate. There is an 
interesting fact, to which Dr. Hayden calls attention in 
his Report for 1878, relating to the group of sedimentary 
strata. He says that no important flexures have been 

* Report 1872, p. 137. 


discovered in them, though such may have existed in the 
metamorphic rocks. The inclination of the beds is, in 
some places, very great. Sometimes the uplifted zone 
is ten to fifteen miles in width, and composed of a great 
number of ridges, called in the country "hogbacks;" 
the inclination of these from the granite nucleus out- 
wards to the plains is not more than from 10° to 25°, 
gradually diminishing until the liquitic attains its un- 
broken horizontal development. 

In an another locality it will be seen that the entire 
group of strata are crowded into a space of a mile or less, 
and stand in a perfectly vertical position, which is 
suddenly found to terminate abruptly and the horizontal 
arrangement to prevail. 

We see that to whatever extent the metamorphic 
mass that forms the nucleus of the ranges may have 
been afflicted by the shrinking of the crust, etc., the 
sedimentary strata have been simply lifted up, in a more 
or less vertical manner; and the conclusion is forced 
upon one that, in a former epoch, they extended in an 
uninterrupted series over the region now occupied by the 
mountain ranges. 

So far as one can judge the process of upheaval was 
a slow one, of long duration, and of uniform action. In 
many instances the sedimentary group seems to have 
resisted the central force, and thus the strata were 
broken off and the edges turned up very abruptly. In 
others the uplift seems to have influenced the strata for 
long distances, and the beds indicate a very slight 
inclination, not one extending for a long distance. 

The Great Divide. — This extensive development of the 
eruptive rocks forms the backbone of the North American 

* See page 20. 



Continent, sending its store of waters on the one side to the 
Atlantic, and on the other to the Pacific Oceans. It extends 
in a great series of elevations from North to South, in- 
cluding in its vast system numerous minor ranges, and 
being in some parts six or seven hundred miles in breadth. 

A very interesting book of travel, by Lord Dunraven, 
bears for its title " The Great Divide," and gives in a 
lively and agreeable style a good description of the coun- 
try, which may be read with pleasure by the geologist, as 
well as by those who delight in adventure. 

The entire range of the Bockies may be said to 
extend from Colorado in the East, to the Sierra Nevada, 
of California, in the West. But, they do not present an 
unbroken chain. On the contrary, they are broken up 
into many minor ranges, and throughout the district 
more immediately under our notice this evening they 
are broken up into many ridges, the sides of which are 
cut up by myriads of deep gorges, and which inclose, as 
within walls, large areas to which the name of ' Parks ' 
has been given. The streams which rise in the higher 
regions flow down the gorges, and cutting through the 
fertile plains persue their ocean-ward course along deep 
and rugged canons. And everywhere are to be found 
vast deposits of drift and moranial matter and huge 
amphitheatre shaped hollows that attest the intensity 
of a remote glacial period. 

The North, Middle, and St. Louis' Parks are the 
larger of the many sheltered basins which lie nestled 
among the mountains, and their beauty and fertility is 
such as to have entitled Colorado to be called the most 
picturesque state in the Union. 

Lord Dunraven, speaking of them says — " Of all 
sizes, from a few acres to many hundreds of miles in 
extent, they lie, fertile, clothed with grass, decked with 


flowers, sparkling with silver streams, oases amid the 
savage barrenness of the mountains. They are not only 
beautiful, but useful, and answer a very wise purpose in 
the economy of nature, for acting like huge reservoirs, 
they collect the thousand rills that start out from under 
the everlasting snows, and become the sources of great 

2. Metamorphism. — This force it would appear, was 
deeply seated and acted upon all the rocks, including the 
granite, in situ, but so many questions arise in this 
connection that I cannot now refer to it at length. Nearly 
all the metalliferous deposits, for the profusion and 
richness of which Colorado is so celebrated, occur in 
viens in the metamorphic rocks or in their debris. 

8. The Silurian is represented by a series of strata 
corresponding in general characters with those of Europe. J 

One peculiarity, however, I may mention. In Park 
Eange the trachytic beds appear to be interstratified with 
the older sedimentary rocks. The aqueous layers vary 
much in thickness. In some places a thousand feet 
thick, they diminish to a few feet in a short distance, and 
in some places are interstratified with the silurian 
quartzites as though of the same age with them. It is 
probable they are not older, however, than the Tertiary 
period, and merely exhibit a phenomenal peculiarity. 

Near Canon City and Colorado springs, the silurian 
beds are finely developed. The beds rest unconformably 
upon the granitoid rocks with 600 or 800 feet of reddish 
limestone superimposed, containing characteristic fossils. 
Dr. Hayden thinks there is no doubt this formation 
underlies the entire country east of the Eocky Mountains. 

4. The Carboniferous. — This period in geological history 
is distinctly marked in North America. If we study its 
development over the entire continent we may regard it 



as being more strongly defined than anywhere else on 
the world's surface, so far as is known. Its synchron- 
ism with the European development is very close. Dr. 
Newberry has put down the area of the U. S. Coal field 
of carboniferous age as 150,000 square miles in extent, 
reaching from New Mexico and Texas, along the Missis- 
sippi Valley and the New England States to Nova Scotia 
and Melville Island. But, in the west, and indeed in the 
central portion of the continent, the sea must have 
prevailed during the Carboniferous epoch, and we only 
find a series of massive limestones — the product of 
organic life in a shallow ocean, perhaps, but one full of 
vitality. In Colorado the characteristic fossils are 
Spirifer, Productus, Crinoids, and Corals The dip is 
very slight, scarcely 3°, except where the edges of the 
beds are turned up against the Mountain Banges. 

Abundant invertibrate fossils have been found, but 
the results of the examination of them are not yet 

5. The Jura Trias. — It often happens that the lower 
members of the sedimentary series are absent, and 
resting directly upon the smoothed, though often 
irregular surface of the Archaean Bocks, and forming the 
lowest member of the exposed stratified formations, is a 
series of sandstones which varies in thickness from 500 
to 2,000 feet, and of which the colour is so striking and 
so predominent a character, that they are denominated 
the " Bed Beds." 

Conglomerates are found at different heights in the 
series, but, generally, near the base, and would appear 
to be derived from the adjacent rock. In the lower 
portions the beds are so evidently made up of the 
material of older rocks near by that it is difficult to 
distinguish, when metamorphism has operated, the 


Jurassic sandstone from the underlying granite. Dark 
red is the prevailing colour, but other tints are found. 
Lying immediately over the red beds are a more 

shaly series of rocks, which have been referred by 
Mr. Marvine to the Jurassic. The arenaceous element 
still predominates, but agillaceous material is present to 
a large extent, and seams of impure limestone and 
gypsum occur. The prevailing colour is still red, but 
many beds of variegated aspect are are found. 

In Colorado, as far as I am aware, no fossils have 
been obtained from the Triassic beds, but in the upper 
Missouri country Dr. Hayden found in them a species of 
ostrea and fragments of Pentacrinus asteriscus, a charac- 
teristic Jurassic fossil. 

The Bed Beds are usually termed in the Beports, &c, 
Triassic, but it is by no means proved that they are so. 
Beds of an analagous nature are found in the Carbon- 
iferous and in the Jurassic. They are put down in the 
Atlas, provisionally, as Jura-Triassic : and it may 
eventually appear that the Trias is wanting. 

Geographically, it is one of the most widely distri- 
buted formations of the west. From the northern 
boundary to the southern line this formation makes its 
appearance wherever a mountain range is elevated so as 
to expose the various sedimentary groups. 

One of its most striking developments is seen in the 
"Gateway of the Garden of the Gods," where immense 
masses rise like a protecting wall, leaving a narrow 
canon like opening — the so-called gateway. 

6. The Cretaceous. — This formation attains a thickness 
of 4,000 feet in the north-west, and may be said to 
occupy a greater surface area than any other group in 
North America. 


The Cretaceous era was probably one of subsidence, 
and to the east of the Rocky Mountains was one great 
sea, having a width of 100 miles or more, and extend- 
ing from the Arctic regions to New Mexico. A vast 
region, that was previously covered with forest trees, 
became gradually submerged and covered up with cal- 
careous deposits. 

The lowest division of the Cretaceous, corresponding 
to the English Gault, consists of a series of thick-bedded 
coarse sandstones and conglomerate, and contains num- 
erous impressions of dicotyledonous trees with beds of 
liquite. Its litbological characters indicates that it was 
formed from the immediate debris of the land, and 
gradually submerged. It has been termed : — 

The Cretaceous No. 1 ; or, the Dakota Group. Its 
i texture and composition are extremely variable, and Dr. 

Hayden is inclined to regard it as transitional, between 
the Jurassic and the Cretaceous series; but, in other 
respects, it is so permanent, and so readily recognised, 
that it is always regarded as the true base of the Creta- 
ceous system of the west. 

Professors Meek and Hayden were the first to classify 
the vast thickness of the formations included within the 
Cretaceous system. Their observations commenced 
near the source of the Missouri Eiver, and the terms 
they employed have been used to describe those extended 
deposits found along the eastern base of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and as far north as New Mexico. The classifica- 
tion embraces five distinct epochs, in each of which we 
find well marked differences, both in the character of the 
rocks and in their included forms. 

The opinion was formerly held by some observers 
that the Dakota Group was of fresh water origin; but 
when we find it covering an area of 60 miles in width, 



and extending from Texas to the northern limits of 
Minnesota, thus passing through fourteen degrees of 
latitude, and perhaps extending across British America 
into Greenland, it is difficult to imagine a fresh water 
formation of such magnitude. It preserves a remark- 
able similarity throughout, and has not yet yielded any 
vertebrate fossils. 

The character of the leaves found in the Dakota 
Group is not that of a dry land flora, nor yet that of 
bogs or peat. The most abundant remains are those of 
Sassafras, which is a species that grows in the present 
day in every kind of ground and station. 

The group merges imperceptibly into the higher mem- 
ber of the series. It has been extensively studied in the 
Missouri country, Kansas, and Nebraska, where it attains 
its greatest development. In Colorado it attains some 
1000 feet in thickness. The leaves found in it are of a 
higher type than those occuring in Europen Cretaceous 
strata, and much discussion took place as to their true 
geological age. Professor Heer was inclined to class 
them as Miocene, and in this view he was supported to 
some extent by Dr. J. S. Newberry, but it is now the 
generally accepted opinion that the Dakota Group con- 
stitute the base of the American Cretaceous formation. 

Palaeophytology has been too often considered as of 
little importance in regard to the determination of the 
age of geological divisions. But, in this instance, we 
have a proof of its value as a guide ; for it is only by the 
study of the flora of the Dakota Group that its relation 
to the Lias, the Jurassic, or the Cretaceou j has been 
decided. Well preserved casts of PhareUa Dokotentis, 
Aocinea Si(mxends 9 and Cyprina arenaeea, indicate the 
marine origin of the group. Among its plant remains 
are to be found leaves of — Populus, Salix, Alrrns, Ficus, 


Platcmu8, Liriodendron, Sassafras, Magnolia, etc. It is 
interesting to note that a flora of so modern an aspect 
existed in these early times, and it is not to be wondered 
at that Heer and others long hesitated before accepting 
the evidence of its cretaceous age. 

Dr. Newberry remarks: — "Vegetation was revolu- 
tionised at the close of the Triassic period, when the 
aquadaceous flora, which then prevailed on the earth's 
surface, was succeeded by the reign of angiosperms, in 
the introduction of a hundred or more species of forest 
trees, in great part belonging to the genera now living." 

A similar flora still flourishes in the Southern States 
of America. The great fan palms discovered by Dr. 
Hayden are the only plants that have a really tropical 
character, but they are associated with poplars, syca- 
\ A mores, hazels, &c, which indicate temperate conditions 

of climate. The European Miocene contains tropical 
plants, such as cinnamomim, thakea, <fec, which are 
absent from the Miocene of the west. 

Cretaceous No. 2 — Fobt Benton Group. This group 
consists of dark laminated clays, with occasional seams 
of grey limestone, and with the foregoing group may be 
correlated with the lower chalk of British geologists, and 
the Turonien of D'Orbigny. Its principal fossils are, 
Inoceramus problematicus, I. fragilis, Ostrea congesta, 
Ammonites (several species), Nautilus (?) etc. 

Cretaceous No. 8 — Niobara Division. About 800 feet 
in thickness. Consists usually of chalks or shaly lime- 
stone, and marls, with beds of gypsum, with very num- 
erous fossils of characteristic Cretaceous species, fish 
scales, &c. This group complete the lower division of 
the Cretaceous series of the north-west. It is not de- 
veloped so largely in the southern portions of the 
country as it is in the Missouri region. 




Cretaceous No. 4 — Port Pierre Group. The thick- 
ness of this group is about 700 feet, and it attains its 
greatest development in the Missouri country. It con- 
sists of a series of dark coloured plastic clays, with veins 
and seams of gypsum in its lower portions, and reposes 
conformably upon No. 8. The upper part has among 
its fossils Nautilus Dekayi, Ammonites placenta, Bacvlites 
ovatus, Seaphites nodosus, ect., with bones of Mosasawrus 
Missouriensis. The lower portion has Inocerami, Helio- 
ceras (several species), etc., and abundant fish remains. 
In Colorado the different members of the series that 
correspond to Nos. 2, 8, and 4, have been ranged to- 
gether as " The Colorado Group," and they attain there 
their greatest development. 

Cretaceous No. 5 — Fox Hill Beds. Grey, ferrugen- 
ous, and yellow sandstone, and crenacous clays. Thick- 
ness in the Missouri region 500 feet, but in Colorado 
1,200 feet or more, including many beds of shaly lime- 
stone. Fossils : — Belemnitella buXbosa, Seaphites conradi, 
Fusus (several species), Cardium suhquadratum, etc., 
with a great number of other molluscous fossils, and 
bones of Mosasaurus. 

This group, and the previous one, correspond to the upper 
or white chalk and Martricht beds, Senonien, of D'Orbigny. 

All these groups have been carefully studied by Dr. 
Hayden; and, though marked changes occur in the 
lithological character of the beds composing the several 
series, he has been able, by following them continuously 
in every direction, from their typical development in 
Upper Missouri, to their extreme attenuation in the 
south-west, to fix the identity of each wherever it appears ; 
though, he confesses, that after leaving the Missouri 
region, he does not find those strongly defined lines of 
separation, of either a lithological or a palaeontological 
nature, which exist up there. 



In Colorado the only leaf remains discovered in No. 
1 formation were found by Dr. Peale, in the South Platte 
district, and Professor Lesquereux decided that they 
belonged to Proteoides acuta (Heer). 

7. Post Cretaceous. Between the Cretaceous and the 
Tertiary formations there has hitherto existed a great 
gap, and, except for the Aix la Chapelle flora, I do not 
know of the discovery of any remains of exogenous vege- 
tation prior to the Eocene. Dr. Debey, who examined 
the Aix flora, estimated the number of species as being 
over 200, of which 67 species were crytogamous. Among 
the phoenogamous forms Conifers were abundant, the 
most common belonging to the genus Cycadopteris (De- 
bey), are almost identical with Sequoia.* As a whole 
the remains present a remarkable affinity to the Dakota 
No. 1 group. 

The term "Lignitic Group* ' was usually used to 
describe those beds that overlie the Cretaceous, No. 5 
series, or Pox Hill. Group, but as, in the west, especially 
along the fortieth parallel and southwestward, there are 
very thick beds of coal in the Cretaceous formation, 
extending down even into the Jurassic, the term is now 
abandoned. But there is no doubt, the Fort Union Beds 
of the Upper Missouri are the equivalents of the Lower 
Tertiary of the Bocky Mountains in Colorado. 

Prom an economic point of view the importance of 
this formation cannot be over-estimated. It is to the 
west what the great appalachian coal region of Carboni- 
ferous age is to the east. From a number of analyses, 
I find the proportion of fixed carbon is about 52 per 
cent, in the Lignitic Coals. The European lignites 
average 45 to 46 per cent. 

Lyell, " Elements." 6th Edition, p. 831. 


The aggregate thickness of the beds composing the 
Lignitic Group may be said to be 2,000 feet or more; 
they are described as — Beds of clay and sand, with 
round ferruginous concretions and numerous beds, seams, 
and local deposits of lignite ; great numbers of dico- 
tyledonous leaves, stems, etc., of the genera Platanus, 
Acer, Ulmus, Populus, etc., with very large leaves of 
fan-palms; also Helix, Melania, Vivipara, CorUcula 
Unio, Ostrea, Potamomya, and scales of Lepidotvs, with 
bones of Trionyx, Emys Compsemys, Crocodilus, etc." 

From this description it will be, at once, inferred that 
at the time of its deposition there existed a flourishing 
vegetation far exceeding in luxuriance anything now to 
be found in those latitudes* 

From our study of the Upper Cretaceous beds we see 
that they are of a marine origin, but when we arrive at 
the base of the lignitic group, we find every indication 
of shallow turbulent waters, and many signs of the 
existence of an altered condition of things. 

Dr. Hayden points out that whenever any inverte- 
brate remains are found above the lowest member of 
this group they are invariably of brackish or fresh water 
types, while all below it are of marine species. He 
continues — " are not these changes sufficient to indicate 
clearly that these beds are transitional between the 
Cretaceous and Tertiary Epochs ? We find also a com- 
plete change in the vegetable as well as animal life. 
We are not aware that any of the vertebrate remains 
which have been regarded by Cope and Marsh, Eeport, 
1874, p. 29, as proving the Lignitic group to be of 
Cretaceous age, have ever been found mingled with any 
other forms of life of strictly marine origin. So far all 
the vertebrate fossils have been discovered in the 
Lignitic group. It seems therefore that not a single 


species of vegetable or animal life survived the physical 
changes which were introduced during the time of the 
deposition of this group. " No purely marine mollusca 
pass above this horizon. Estuarine and brackish water 
types appear, and gradually give place to fresh water 

It may matter little whether these beds are denomi- 
nated Upper Cretaceous or Lower Eocene, but it is 
important to recognise in them a boundary line, or land- 
mark in the geological history of North America, and 
eminent vertebrate-palaeontologists who pronounce them 
to be Cretaceous from their own particular point of 
study do not claim that a single species of vertebrate 
life passes above the well defined horizon I have 
referred to. Dr. Hayden says in this connection : — 

"I hold the position that the sequence of all forma- 
tions is to be sought for in all places ; that while breaks 
not unfrequently occur, the normal condition is the 
entire absence of any line of demarcation, so that with 
the closest scrutiny the geologist cannot tell where one 
formation ends and another begins." 

Speaking of the extent of the Brown Coal in the 
United States, B. C. Taylor says * : " Nature has indeed 
worked on a grand scale. We see here a deposit of 
brown coal, extending from the Bocky Mountains of 
Colorado even to the Polar Sea. A deposit so extensive 
that the magnitude of its proportions is far from being 
defined: yet enough is known to show that it exceeds in 
longitudinal range and breadth all others of the present 
surface of our planet. So far seems to be established, 
that, allowing liberally foy interruptions of continuity, 
supposing that any such exist. It occupies an area 
equal to twice the size of Great Britain." 

* Statistics of Coal," 1843. 


Prof. Lesquereux, in his splendid monograph on the 
Tertiary Flora (Washington, 1878), pays an eloquent 
tribute to Dr. Hayden, which, did space permit, I should 
like to have quoted. It is to Dr. Hayden's zeal and 
wonderful ability that the world is indebted for the 
accurate knowledge we now possess of what so few years 
ago was a terra incognita both to the geographer and to 
the geologist. 

Dr. Hayden began his investigation of the group in 
1854 on the Missouri, near Fort Clark, and followed the 
formation up the Yellowstone for about 600 miles. 
There is no doubt the series extends into high northern 
latitudes, and my question of those who have made 
Arctic Geology a special study would be — Is the so-called 
Miocene flora of Disco, &c, not really an extension of 
this undoubtedly Lower Eocene series? 

There appears to be no doubt as to the identity of 
the lignitic series of Canada with those of the north- 
west. Prof. J. W. Dawson, of Montreal, says : — " The 
plants of our lignitic strata are for the most part iden- 
tical with those found by American geologists in the Fort 
Union series. . . . They approach very closely the 
Miocene floras of Europe." He then adds?: "If we were 
to regard the affinities of the plants merely, and to com- 
pare them with the Miocene of other countries, and also 
to consider the fact that several of the species are iden- 
tical with those still living, and that the whole facies 
of the flora coincides with that of modern temperate 
America, little hesitation would be felt in assigning the 
formation in which they occur to the Miocene period. 
On the other hand, when we^consider the fact that the 
lower beds of this formation hold the remains of reptiles 
of Mesozoic types, that the beds pass downwards into rocks 
holding baculites and Inocerami, and that a flora essen- 


tially similar is found associated with cretaceous remains, 
both in Dakota and Vancouver's Island, we should be 
inclined to assign them at least to the base of the 
Eocene.' ' 

8. Teetiaby. — During the Tertiary period the whole of 
the western portion of America was covered with immense 
lakes. As the period advanced many smaller lakes were 
formed, and in the Pliocene era thousands of small lakes 
existed, and their basins and peculiar deposits are seen 
in great profusion all over the country. 

The great lignitic group may be regarded as the 
base of the North- Western Eocene. It is succeeded 
in the Wind Eiver Mountain region by a great thickness 
of sandstones, containing fragments of Trionyx Testudo, 
Helix Vivipara, &c, which attains to some 1,500 feet of 
thickness. Whether these beds are of Eocene or Mio- 
cene age is doubtful. We find, however, the typical 
development of the Miocene in what is termed the White 
Eiver group : thickness 1,000 feet. Its greatest develop- 
ment is in the " Bad Lands " of White River, and its 
lithological series consists of white and drab clays, with 
sandstone and limestone. The fossils are of great inte- 
rest, and include Oreodon, Titanotherium, Rhinoceros, 
Hyanonodon, &c, &c, all extinct. There are no brackish 
water or marine remains. 

The Pliocene beds of the Upper Missouri attain 300 
to 400 feet in thickness, and contain remains of Cards, 
Felis, Castor, Equus, Mastodon, &c, some of which are 
very closely allied to living species. 

I cannot conclude my paper without referring in a 
special manner to the second series of maps contained 
in the Colorado Atlas, twelve in number, plotted on a 
scale of four miles to the inch, viz., six topographical 
sheets, and six corresponding maps, geologically coloured. 


The topographical details, though numerous, are 
so selected as not to neutralise or interfere with each 
other, and each presents a clear and broad picture of the 
country. The contour lines are 200 feet apart in vertical 
distance, and in them we see the surface configuration laid 
down with all the clearness of a model. " We can follow 
the lines of the broad valleys, of the deep narrow canons, 
and of the hundreds of minor tributaries, which have 
scooped out their courses on either side. Here we look 
down upon a vast table land, deeply trenched by stream 
channels ; there upon a succession of bold escarpments 
or mesas which bound the table-land and hem in the 
neighbouring valley." 

The high mountain-ranges which rise from these 
extensive plains are vividly depicted, and yet no shading 
is employed. All the effects are produced by contour 
lines, so faithfully set down that a single line may be 
traced in all its sinuosities along the whole of a moun- 
tain's front, until it comes out upon a table-land beyond. 
This method of expressing the peculiarities of surface 
conformation seems to be an improvement upon that 
adopted by our English map-makers. "Who has not felt 
the annoyance of poring glass in hand in a vain endea- 
vour — as, alas ! it so often is — to read the names printed 
on our own Ordnance Survey maps. Very admirable 
productions, as they undoubtedly are, our British Survey 
maps are so overloaded with dark heavy shading that a 
steep hill side, which may perhaps be only a few hundred 
feet in height, looms upon the sheet with all the lowering 
blackness of a great mountain. 

The system of plotting maps with elevation curves is 
one that will commend itself to the practical geologist, 
not only by reason of its greater clearness, but because 
of the help it will afford him in his work. Geological 


maps will always represent in curved lines the boundaries 
of formations, and it is evident that where strate- 
graphicaJ details have been carefully worked out, a map 
that shows in addition to outline curves, those of vertical 
distances or elevation, will present with great accuracy 
results which it would otherwise require much time and 
labour to make out. 

Following in order after the geological maps are two 
sheets of vertical sections. The allusions I have already 
made to the structure of the Bocky Mountain ranges ren- 
der it unnecessary to say much more on that subject in 
this place. We notice that in some parts the force from 
beneath seems to have acted so nearly in a vertical 
direction, that only the lignitic or perhaps a portion of 
the underlying cretaceous strata are exposed on the 
flanks of the ridge, and the operation of upheaval has 
not materially disturbed the rocks except in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood. There is no doubt but that the 
sedimentary formations were once continuous over the 
regions now occupied by these lofty peaks. The missing 
portion of this unbroken series has been eroded during 
the long slow process of elevation. 

Although there is such simplicity in the dynamics of 
these ridges, and the geological series is developed on so 
simply-grand a scale, yet there is much complicity in 
some of the details. Perhaps one of the most important 
lessons tfrat is taught by the study of the Atlas in con- 
junction with the Beports and monographs, is that there 
are so very numerous a set of phenomena that result 
from erosion. The Glacial period has left wonderful 
exhibitions of its power. Even the highest peaks have 
suffered more or less degradation, and the amount of 
material that has been carried away from the great 
central mass must have been enormous. 


Water and Ice are still at work diminishing the 
height of the loftiest ranges, but their force is now infini- 
tesimal in comparison with that of former times. Dr. 
Hayden reckons that the work of disintegration has been 
going on ever since the Carboniferous period. In the 
panoramic sketches we see, too, the indications of the 
more recent results of earth-sculpture, and indications 
of glacial moraines, lake-deposits, drifts, sand-dunes, &c. 

In presenting the two sheets of scenery sketches, Dr. 
Hayden has conferred a boon upon us that we shall all 
appreciate; and, in this connection, I will refer to a 
singular group of rocks belonging to the Lower Eocene, 
to which the name of the Monument Greek group has 
been given. They are depicted on the chart. The name 
of Monument Park has been given to the locality where 
the group is most extensively developed. The peculiarity 
for which the series is remarkable is that subaerial 
denudation has sculptured out most singular monument- 
like forms, from the remarkable aspect of which the 
place derives its name. The sandstones forming the 
group vary considerably in colour and texture — now a 
fine-grained arenaceous rock, then a coarse conglomerate 
composed of granital detritus loosely cemented together; 
now of a milky white colour, and again of a red or 
variegated hue. 

In some parts of the Park we see the mesas capped 
with trachyte, which, ascending in dykes at^a remote 
period, overflowed the surface. Much of this trachyte is 
a coarse breccia containing large pieces of sandstone, 
which were caught by and enclosed in the melted matter. 
The layer that caps the columns or monuments is of the 
same character as that forming the summit of the buttes 
or mesas, and had the same origin. Acting as an 
umbrella, it protected to some extent the sandstone for- 


ming the shaft of the column from the force of eroding 
agencies, until wind and frost slowly yet surely as- 
serted their sway, and the 6oft friable sandstone became 

In the "New World" we find the greatest develop- 
ment of the oldest sedimentary rocks, the Laurentian. 
Whether we regard the Eozoon as an organic or as an 
inorganic substance, the fact that extensive series of 
limestone occur in the formation points to its organic 
origin, in part at least, and indicate that it is built up 
from the ruins of an ancient continent. It is generally 
regarded as the most ancient portion of the Earth's 
surface. And though in the far west the Laurentian is 
buried, where it exists, beneath newer formations, we 
may suppose the Silurian strata to be made up of its 
ruins. It is most interesting to trace the tide of develop- 
ment in its progress over that great continent, and the 
fact that Onoclea semibilis has been found on the Island 
of Mull but not on any other European Tertiary, while 
it is comparatively abundant in the American Miocene, 
is an important one. And it would seem that if an 
exodus of plant life set in from America to Europe, it 
was probably along a temperate zone. 

It would, I am sure, gratify Dr. Hayden, with whom 
I have had the pleasure of corresponding for several 
years past, and to whom as a Society we are so largely 
indebted^ for generous gifts to our Library, if, as the 
result of my effort to interest you in the work he has 
accomplished and is still so actively pursuing, I might 
convey to him an appreciative expression of our recog- 
nition, as a Society, of his unparalleled success as an 
explorer and as one of the leaders of scientific advance- 
ment. This, I am sure, you will do. And I conclude 
my paper by expressing the hope that ere long we shall 


see published a resume of the work that he has accom- 
plished; for, at present, it is no easy task to reduce and 
correlate such a mass of facts as are published in 
isolated volumes, not always available when wanted; 
and if Dr. Hayden himself were to undertake such a 
work, his extensive knowledge and great experience 
would find a most appropriate field, and all students of 
both British and American Geology would rejoice to see it. 

%* In the discussion which followed the reading of this paper the 
highest admiration of Dr. Hayden's work was expressed by several 
members of the society. 



By Aubrey Strahan, M.A., F.G.S., 

By permission of the Director-General of the Geological Survey, 

The following instances of striated rock surfaces have 
been met with during the summer of 1878, on and near 
the coast between the Ormes Head and Holywell : — 

Great Ormes Head, by the side of the New Drive, near 

the East Lodge. 

Under Boulder-clay, on a steep limestone slope facing 
S.E. The projections of the rock are smoothed and 
glaciated, but not strongly; two sets of striae cross 
nearly at right angles, 
(a.) Eunning horizontally round the cliff; direction, 

N. 26° E. 
(6.) Eunning straight down the slope, more distinct than 
(a); direction W. 20° N. to E. 20° S. 
Height above Ordnance Datum, about 50 feet. 


The Sychnant Pass, near Conway. 

A striated boss of felstone by the side of the high 
road. Stria run down the slope from N.W. to S.E. 
Height above Ordnance Datum, about 300 feet. 

On the brow of Craig Cliff, near Llandulas Station. 

(a.) On a nearly vertical face of limestone forming the 
east side of a small hollow filled with Drift, and 
leading up to the air-shaft of the railway tunnel. 
S.10°W. toN. 10° E. 

(6.) On a nearly horizontal limestone surface, a few 
yards east of the hollow mentioned above. Direc- 
tion N.E. 

Height above Ordnance Datum, about 70 feet. 

Quarry on South Side of the High Road above Llandulas 


Large glaciated surface exposed by the removal of 
three feet of Boulder-clay. Striae long, not perfectly 
straight. The ground slopes to the north. Direction 
N. 80° E. 

Height above Ordnance Datum, about 250 feet. 

Moel Hyraddog, near Dyserth. 

Under a small patch of gravelly Boulder-clay, on a 
terrace of limestone on the east side of the hill. The 
ground slopes to the E.N.E. The stri» are constant in 
direction to the N.E. 

Height above Ordnance Datum, 750 feet. 

Craig Fawr, near Dyserth. 

On a projecting shoulder of limestone, at the foot of 
a very steep rocky slope, near the Newmarket and 
Meliden Boad. The slope faces west, and overlooks the 


New Bed Sandstone plain. The striae sweep round the 
shoulder of rock horizontally. Not one comes down 
from the slope above. The projections of the rock are 
well smoothed and striated on the sides facing the north. 
Direction of flow, N. to S. 

Height above Ordnance Datum, 160 feet. 

Limekiln near Pen-yr*AUt, Gwaenysgor. 

The surface of the Limestone is thoroughly smoothed 
and striated under two feet of Boulder-clay. The ground 
slopes from N.E. to S.W. Direction of striae, N. 5° W. 

Height above Ordnance Datum, 660 feet. 

Chwarel Pen-y-GeUi, near Holywell. 

Under a thin covering of gravelly Boulder-clay. The 
scratches are short, and not constant in direction. The 
ground slopes to the south. Two sets cross obliquely — 

(a.) E. and W. (b.) E. 15° N. 

Height above Ordnance Datum, 700 feet. 

Quarry on Pen-y-baU, near Holywell; at the North end 
of the tunnel on the Tramway from Holloway. 

The rock is overlain by about one foot of gravelly 
Drift, containing striated blocks of Limestone. The 
prominences only of the rock-surface are glaciated. The 
ground slopes to the N.N.E. Direction of striae N. 85° E. 
and N. 40° E. 

Height above Ordnance Datum, 815 feet. 



By P. P. Marbat. 

It is by no means a difficult matter to see that the whole 
of the shells in this genus are simply varieties of each 
other; at the same time it would be a most difficult 
undertaking to prove it to persons who have not studied 
the subject. No two persons have either eyes or intel- 
lects alike; the subject might be very easy to one and 
most difficult to another. And thus it is in every branch 
of natural history: one man pursues his study with 
vigour and success, and twenty others retire almost on 
the threshold. In this field a collection consisting of ten 
well-filled drawers has revealed all the facts, and all that 
the author has done is to collect and arrange them ; many 
yet remain to be deciphered, for the want of additional 
materials for their elucidation, and a few appear still very 
far from being correctly understood. 

In accordance with the views respecting the variation 
of the shells in the genus Nassa, expressed in a paper 
read before the Literary and Philosophical Society, 
it is proposed to give an account of the fossils contained 
in this genus also. 

The fossil as well as the recent shells have only been 
considered from one point of view, viz., that of their 
being separate and distinct species, and all the varieties 
must of necessity belong to one or other of these species. 
There are so many incongruities in the works of the 
most famous authors, with regard to the value of the 
characters said to constitute specific differences, that many 
of the shells quoted as varieties are much more distinct 
from each other than others quoted as species. On the 


ccontrary many of the shells figured and quoted as the 
species of this or that author are so widely different, 
that we are at a loss to know how the learned author 
has arrived at such erroneous conclusions. 

Neither system nor classification exists beyond the 
fancied resemblances derived from a false foundation. 
Classification should depend upon an intimate acquaint- 
ance with the law of affinity; it is utterly impossible for 
any one to assign to any set of shells their proper place 
in the system without first ascertaining their relationship 
with each other, as well as all those immediately con- 
nected with them. The fossil shells are closely allied to 
the recent, and have smooth, costate and cancellate 
forms among them, similar to the shells now living 
in the ocean; and if we may judge by such shells 
as the N. reticosa, J. Sow, there was quite as much 
variation existing among them in former years as there 
is now. It is absolutely necessary to know that the 
shells are extremely variable objects, and are by no 
means confined to the definite limits of the species 
maker. A cancellated shell is not necessarily a species 
in virtue of its cancellation, neither is a smooth variety 
to be considered distinct because of its smoothness ; the 
one may be only a variety of the other, nor does the 
degree of sculpturing — that is, its fineness or coarseness 
— afford any additional evidence in its favour; many of 
the shells of the same species are well known to vary in 
these characters. 

It will be seen by any person who will examine the 
subject, and who is accustomed to weigh evidence, that 
nearly the whole of the known fossil shells belonging to 
this genus are intermediate in their character, and con- 
sequently they can only be considered varieties. Many 
groups among the recent shells are very similar in their 




ever-varying characters, and are entirely devoid of any- 
thing like fixity. The reticulated shells, such as N. 
sequijorensis, A. Ad., *V. marginulata, Lam., not Beeve, 
N. ravida, A. Ad., &c, are all so interchangeable, that 
it is impossible to say where one begins and the others 
end. The train of shells combining the characters of 
two species are very numerous, and those exhibiting the 
combined characters of three, or even four supposed 
species, occur. Variation in every direction is here the 
rule, and not the exception. 

It is quite time we opened our eyes to the fact that if 
we attempt any arangement of these shells on the principle 
we have hitherto adopted, it will result in an utter failure. 
The N. cuvierii, Payr, belongs to no less than five 
different sub-genera of Adams, represented by so many of 
its varieties. 

In consequence of the variety of form, colour, coro- 
nation, ribbing, cancellation, and almost every other 
variation to be found in shells generally, this genus has 
been selected for the purpose of examining into the 
subject of the variation of species. I much question if 
another group of shells could have been chosen pos- 
sessing so many advantages, of such varied characters, 
and so well adapted for the purpose, as this is. The 
gradations are marked and easily traceable, showing a 
progressive development of character from one supposed 
species to another. The degrees of coronation, from the 
smooth shells to the utmost development of coronation, 
can be counted from the appearance of one tubercle on 
the edge of the sutural canal to the complete coronation 
ornamenting the whole of the whorls. A similar series 
of observations, with regard to the ribs, is observed to 
take place from the simple elongation of the tubercles 
below the sutures, through every stage of development, 


until we reach the full, clear and well defined ribs. A 
third series of examples are equally well defined, and 
show us the whole process, from a single sulcation 
through the series of crossgrooves forming the course or 
fine cancellation of the shell. Another character, viz., 
the callous of the columella is seen to vary from the 
thinest possible film, scarcely perceptible without the 
aid of a magnifying glass, to the thick, round button- 
like callosity, covering the whole front of the shell, and 
sometimes enveloping many of the upper whorls. The 
rugosity and the folds are equally liable to variation, and 
no reliance can be placed on them. The sutural canal 
is either open or closed in shells of the same species ; 
and again all the intermediate stages can be easily 
traced. As to the colour externally, or the banding in- 
ternally, there is no difficulty in determining its extreme 
variation. Two shells are before me ; the one is a very 
dark purple, and the other is pure white, yet neither of 
these varieties are mentioned in describing the species. 
The shell is described by Eeeve as of an olive colour, 
freckled with bluish white, although a specimen of this 
description does not occur in the Bay of Alexandria. N* 
gibbosula, Linn, the dark variety is found at one end of 
the bay and the light variety at the other; the shells 
found at the intermediate stations are mostly drab or 
light brown. 

Is it absolutely necessary that the mass of informa- 
tion outside the pale of our works on conchology should 
be excluded. The only reason that can be assigned for 
such a proceeding is, we do not know how to deal with 
these materials. The sooner this extra knowledge is 
made to form a part and parcel of the subject matter of 
our book teachings the better. We have men in every 
department of conchological science species making, 


not because they believe the shells are definite and dis- 
tinct, but because nobody knows what a species is. A 
slight shade of colour, an accident, a slight difference in 
form, or even a coat of enamel, may serve to make 
species ; some of which are so contemptible that I should 
think their authors feel ashamed every time they look 
upon them. We talk of classification, and at the same 
time endeavour to separate the materials upon which it 
should be based as far from each other as possible. All 
systematic knowledge is or ought to be based on an in- 
timate acquaintance with the close alliances existing 
between both genera in the generic divisions, and species 
and varieties in the specific divisions; but the mode 
adopted is to show how distinct in every character they 
are. The present system of classification is erroneous, 
and however much the scientist may try to bolster it up, 
it must eventually give place to a more correct view ; 
a much more expansive system is absolutely necessary, 
and it is time this old cramped up system should under- 
go an entire change. The informal ion obtained by a 
study of this large series of varieties is of a certain and 
definite kind; as a natural consequence it is much more 
complete in some parts of the collection than in others, 
but the whole tendency is in favour of endless variation. 
It would be very difficult to substitute anything else. So 
clearly are the whole of the facts connected with this 
conclusion presented to our senses, that it is utterly im- 
possible to mistake their meaning. 

The N. crossei, Mayer, is a cancellated variety of the 
N. cuneata, Mayer, and the N. ameliana, Mayer, connects 
the N. reticosa, J. Sow, variety i-ugosa, with the N. limata, 
Chem. N. angxdata, Brocchi, is a variety of the N. 
gnmeri, Dunker, N. tuburifera, Mayer, is N. mutabilis, 
var. Brocchi Subapp. Fossils, PL 4 f, 18 a. & b., and two 


other varieties are the N. bicallosa, Smith, and the N. 
glabella, Marrat. The N. coronata, Linn., N. kieneri, 
Anton, and the N. marmorata, A. Ad., are all varieties 
of the variable N. mutabilis, Linn. 

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. If these 
fossil conchologists had studied the variation of the 
recent shells, it is quite certain that nine-tenths of 
these described species would never have appeared either 
on paper, or been heard of by description. The folly of 
such a proceeding must have presented itself before their 
understanding and knowledge had been blinded to the act. 

The Na8sa eonglobata, Brocchi, gibba, Eoissy, muta- 
bilis, Linn., and several other of the smooth and trans- 
versely sulcate forms, are simply varieties of such shells 
as the A T . clathrata, Born., verrucosa, Gmel, &c, that is, 
if we allow that changes have taken place among these 
varieties, similar to those of much more frequent occur- 
ence are known to do. Intermediate stages, such as N. 
Umata, Ghem., prismatica, Brocchi, denticulata, A. Ad., and 
many other varieties approximating in form, all appear 
to point in this direction, and probably would yield an 
unbroken line of affinity, if carefully studied. The 
N. glans, Linn., N. reticosa and N. papillosa are the first, 
the smooth, second the reticulated, and third the papil- 
lous varieties of one and the same shell. There are 
numerous varieties of each, and two shells now ranking * 
as species, viz., N. seminodosa, A. Ad., and N. hirta, 
Kien., are both varieties of the last-named shell. 

N. hispida, A. Ad., is surrounded by a large number 
of very closely connected varieties. The N. conoidalis, 
Desh., the Australian variety of the N. sordida, A. Ad., 
<fec, my specimens of the N. gruneri, Dkr., were selected 
from a fine series of varieties of the N. hispida, 
and they agree better with the figure and description of 


Philippi than any other shells I have seen under that 
name. The N. keeni, Marr., is a little more volute 
shaped than most of the others, the N. albescens, Dkr., 
has smaller granules than the allied forms, and the N. 
nivosa, Marr., is of a snow white colour, and the lines of 
rib-like granules are distinctly seen. The callous 
matter is extremely variable in thickness as well as its 
spreading, and a specimen selected from a number of 
varieties of N. perlata, Meuschen, is very closely related 
in its external structure to the N. hispida, A. Ad. ; the N. 
liretta, Beck, and the N. pauperata, Lam., come into 
this category. It is very probable that the several varia- 
tions of form and sculpture of the N. clathrata, Born, 
and the N. verrucosa, Gmel, and the N.corrugata, A. Ad., 
may all culminate in and be derived from the N. reti- 
cosa, J. Sow. 

The fossil shells in this group present quite as much 
variation among the species as do the recent, and there 
is no apparent deviation from the plan upon which they 
were modelled. The smooth or simplest form is seen to 
pass into every other grade of variation ; and every connect- 
ing link can be easily traced until we reach the most elabo- 
rate and complex sculpture. In this respect there is no 
difference in the plan observable in the recent shells. 
It is between these two points, viz., the smooth and the 
papillose, that all the variation lies. Form and colour 
are terms so vague in this genus that it is impossible to 
attach any value to them, not a single shell in the whole 
series can be said to be permanent in either of these 
supposed characters. Almost every species of the old 
authors presents more or less variation of the whole of 
the characters used for the purpose of determining 
species ; and the varieties described under given names 
have to be selected from numerous closely allied forms. 


You will be fortunate indeed if your shell is found to 
agree with the authors figure and description. When 
Alexander Agissiz obtained large numbers of what had 
been considered species among the Echinoderms, he was 
surprised to find the characters used for their distinction 
were so variable that it became impossible to employ 
them any longer. At least two-thirds of the shells given 
in Beeves " Conchologia Iconica," under the generic 
heads of Cyproea, Conus, Natica, and most of the other 
genera containing large numbers of species, can be 
easily shown to be simply varieties. In whatever direc- 
tion we turn a similar series of varieties spring up in our 
path. Among the minerals, Thompsonite in the family 
Zeolites has the following varieties, all of which have 
been classed as species, Mesole, Faroelite, Scoulerite, 
Chalilite, Ozarkite, Karphostilbite, and Comptonite; and 
a further search must add considerably to this number, 
so that conchology does not stand alone in the variable 
character of its materials, nor is this genus the only one 
in which the subject of variation may be studied. 
It is said the generic and sub-generic names were 
employed for the convenience of the student ; if so, how 
does it happen that we have genera which should be 
distinct in other genera (Conus is an instance) also 
distinct ? We all know the genus Conus, and I believe 
such a thing as a mistake in any of the shells belonging 
to it could scarcely occur. If we wish to preserve the science 
of Conchology, and expect to attain to a knowledge of it 
beyond that of our predecessors, we will not be content 
to stop short when we have acquired all the facts they 
had collected together ; our knowledge will do little more 
than commence at the points at which they left off. To 
obtain more facts, and follow the subject much further 
towards its ultimatum, requires a much more careful 


study, and on materials differing from those already 
known. Such is the study of variation. To those per- 
sons who are unacquainted with the materials thus 
brought to bear upon the subject, the whole of the new 
material will appear strange and incomprehensible. 
They cannot understand the innumerable facts that are 
constantly being developed, nor the inductive reasoning 
that is constantly being forced upon the mind of the 
student engaged in this advanced work. An entirely new 
field is opened for our investigation, and an entirely new 
set of objects are displayed before our wondering gaze. 
With such a marvellous set of ever varying shells thus 
brought together, the first impression produced upon the 
mind of the examiner is, a single species in an endless 
variety of forms. After years of study this impression, 
instead of being dissipated, is only strengthened ; and, 
the more the materials increase, the more certainty of 
the truth first suggested remains as a thorough convic- 
tion. At first many of the shells stand out boldly, and 
appear to represent something distinct, but after a time 
the varieties above and below them so connect them 
with allied forms, as to completely sink all attempts at 
future identity. The shades of difference are so numerous 
and small, that it is almost impossible to say to which 
of these the original description or figure applied. 

The study of the variation of species has revealed a 
number of facts that could not have been discovered by 
any other means. Without these series of varieties, it 
has been found to be impossible to arrive at correct 
conclusions with regard to what are termed species. 

Suppose a person to be possessed of a large number 
of varieties of any of the common shells, such as N. 
incra88ata, Mull., of which there are forty in a drawer 
before me, he will be enabled to detect the fossil shells 


coming within the range of this variable species, and he 
will find that many shells figured and described as 
species, are simply varieties. Many of the recent shells 
are so intimately connected with the fossils, and are 
found to form so essential a part of the whole group, 
that the study of the genus would be very defective 
without them. A person engaged in the study of varie- 
ties, must of necessity pass beyond the bounds of the 
student of species; in fact, in many instances the 
amount of difference between the former and the latter 
is from ten to one hundred varieties of each species. 

This large amount of additional information must 
have a beneficial effect, and one that will enable us to 
form much more accurate views regarding classification, 
than those based upon a simple knowledge of species. 

Looking over the figures of the fossil shells proposed 
as species, it is surprising to see how few of them appear 
to present anything like distinctive differences. As a 
rule, the form and sculpture at once suggests the position 
to which they should be assigned in the scale of affinity, 
and if we compare them with the recent varieties, they 
seem to drop naturally into their places, as simple 
variations of common and well known shells. It is not 
absolutely imperative that two shells, the one being a 
fossil and the other being recent, should be of different 
species, the Ancilla (Anatihxx) buccinoides, Lam., is 
identical with the A. nwntrouzieri, Sow. ; the N. maculata, 
A. Ad., is the N. Uibiosa, J. Sow. ; and the N. granulata 
and monensis are varieties of the N. incrassata, Mull. ; 
N. 8pectabilis, Nyst., blesensis, secticostata, turricula, and 
viilgatissima, Mayer, are all varieties of the N. incrassata, 
Mull., and the N. amelianum and vindobonense, Mayer 
are varieties of the N. limata, Chem. 

As almost every line of divergence in the shells com- 



posing this genus seem to culminate in one or other of 
the multifarious varieties of the shells classified under 
the general head of N. reticosa, J. Sowerby, we may 
infer that they have originated in this species. In the 
first place the direct order of descent from the genus 
Buccinum appears to pass through this series, and to 
reappear in many of the smaller forms. It is only 
reasonable to suppose that the older species would be 
the source from which the newer shells were derived, 
and the lines of projection would be found to assimilate 
with specimens belonging to the parent stock. The 
genus Nassa was separated from the genus Buccinum by 
Lamarck, and like all other divisions it is very question- 
able if the student has not lost much more than he has 
gained by such a proceeding. In many cases the lines 
of affinity have been severed, and a large amount of 
confusion has resulted from these injudicious proceedings. 
Genera about which a mistake could scarcely be made, 
have been subdivided into others, which served no useful 

Everything connected with species making is arbi- 
trary and entirely at the will or caprice of the author. 
The shells comprising the species, N. reticosa, 3. Sow., 
in Wood's " Craig Fossils," are generally admitted to con- 
stitute but one species ; but the Nassa glans, Linn., which 
I believe to be only a smooth variety of the fossil shell, 
is divided into the N. suturalis, Lam., a simple coronated 
variety, with every intermediate stage of coronation from 
one to the other. N. intermedia, Dunk., from its sup- 
posed intermediate character; the shell figured in 
Keeve's, " Con. Icon.," pi. 2, f. 11, a — b., as a variety of 
N. suturalis, Lam., although the author says that the 
sutural nodules are almost obsolete, in which case it 
should be N. glans, Linn, are all more closely allied 


forms than the fossils. Passing from these to the 
narrow forms, such as the A T . graphitera, Beck., and 
the N. gaudio8a, Hinds., we find ourselves led by a 
series of gradations into the N. cut?ierii, Payr. In 
the series of varieties last enumerated, the variation 
is simply confined to form and to the amount of corona- 
tion at the sutures ; but in the fossil shells we have, in 
addition to these characters, a much more extended 
variation of form, a marked alteration of external sculp- 
ture, and, in every way, a greater variation throughout 
the series than is to be found in the recent shells which 
are designated species. Many of the figures quoted as 
synonymes of species are either very distantly related as 
varieties, or at least they are much more distinct than 
shells standing under the head of distinct species; so 
that a variety of one author is greater than a species of 



The Apparently Sudden Introduction of Man; the Mental 
Capacity of the Cave-Men of France ; and the Short- 
ness of the time which lias elapsed since the close of the 
last Glacial Period. 

By Daniel Mackintosh, F.G.S. 

The author commenced by stating that his paper was 
intended to be more provisional and suggestive than 
final. The recent tendency of opinion in Post-tertiary 
geology was evidently to throw the early history of Man 
further back, and to bring Glacial events nearer to our 
own day. Among Scotch geologists (as he had lately 
learned from Dr. James Geikie) there was a strong ten- 
dency to bring down the close of the last Glacial period 
to Neolithic times ; while in both Scotland and England 
there was a tendency to make the Palaeolithic period at 
least partly Inter-glacial, if not Pre-glacial. Professor \ 
Boyd Dawkins commenced with regarding all the Cave 
Mammalia as Post-glacial. Lately he had expressed his 
belief that the Mammoth made its appearance in Pre- 
glacial times. The author then stated his reasons for 
believing that between the two glacial submergences 
there was a dry land period, during which great numbers 
of animals and (in some districts) men were compelled 
to take refuge in caves, by causes not yet fully under- 
stood; and that, dead or alive, they were covered by the 
pell-mell deposit formerly called diluvium, which had 
been found filling many caves up to the roof, and which, 
in England and Wales (as the author believed) was an 
underground extension of the upper Boulder-clay. He 


explained his reasons for thinking that, in the Cefn and 
Pont-Newydd caves (near St. Asaph) the " diluvium* ' 
could not be a re-deposit of the upper Boulder-clay by a 
fresh-water stream, because the small surface-area above 
the caves could not have supplied a stream of any con- 
siderable size. This surface-area could not have changed 
its configuration since the deposition of the upper Boul- 
der-clay, because it is still more or less covered by that 
clay. The author likewise described the Kirkdale cave, 
of East Yorkshire, in which a Shapfell graijite boulder 
was found lying on the surface of the "diluvium" 
which covered up the Mammalian remains . The author 
believed that the stone implements associated with the 
bones of the Cave-men of France rendered it probable 
that these Cave-men were approximately contempo- 
raneous with the flint-folk of the Valley of the Somme, 
who lived during the deposition of a fluvio-marine gravel 
which (as shown by Mr. Alfred Tylor and others) is 
almost everywhere covered with a deposit of Loess, which 
the author (Mr. Mackintosh) regarded as the equivalent 
of the upper Boulder-clay of the north of England. He 
contended that the Cave-men of Prance showed by their 
artistic skill (all circumstances considered) that they 
were far from being mental savages, whatever may have 
been their external condition. He could not regard 
external magnificence and luxury as in themselves indi- 
cations of true or permanent civilization. The earliest 
human skull yet discovered (the Engis cave skull) might 
have been the skull of a philosopher, according to Pro- 
fessor Huxley. The Neanderthal skull had been proved 
to be- an abnormity not entirely unrepresented at the 
present day in the British Islands.* 

* Report of the Birmingham Meeting of the Brit. Association, I860. 


So far as Geologioal discovery had extended, it 
favoured the conclusion that man was suddenly intro- 
duced, and the author agreed with Mr. A. Russell 
Wallace (one of the founders of the theory of evolution) 
that the origin of man was an abnormal event. * The 
main part of Mr. Mackintosh's paper related to the 
shortness of the time which has elapsed since the close 
of the last Glacial period. It had been rendered almost 
certain that in Scotland glaciers descended to the sea- 
level in Neolithic times; and it could scarcely be doubted 
that such must likewise have been the case in the Lake 
District and North Wales. The extreme freshness of the 
traces of glacial action in the latter countries, especially 
in Cwm Llafar, where a good-sized brook had only made 
a channel two or three feet deep in glacial drift, was 
inconsistent with the idea of more than a very few 
thousand years having elapsed since the final disappear- 
ance of the ice. The extent to which rivers in Cheshire, 
Lancashire, and Cumberland had excavated channels in 
glacial drift since the elevation of the upper Boulder- 
clay above the sea-level might be easily overrated, 
because it could be proved from sections of the upper 
Boulder-clay that it was more a wrapjier than a leveller 
of pre-existing inequalities. 

The idea of the recent close of the last Glacial 
period had been strongly corroborated by late discoveries 
in North America. The Falls of Niagara, according to 
the late Mr. Belt and some of the American geological 
surveyors, had receded only three miles, at the rate of 
nearly three feet in a year, since the final filling up of 
the Pre-glacial channel of the river by the Boulder-clay, 
thus indicating a period of less than 6,000 years since 

* Address, Glasgow. Brit. Association Meeting. 


the close of the last Glacial submergence; and the late 
observations and calculations of Mr. Winchell have 
rendered it probable that the Mississippi Falls of St. 
Anthony have receded to an extent indicating a period 
of nearly equal duration. 

The author then endeavoured to shew that the time 
required for the Post-glacial oscillations of the earth's 
surface, (so far as they can be proved to be Post-glacial, 
and not Inter-glacial or Pre-glacial), need not have 
been nearly so great as has often been supposed, more 
especially as these oscillations took place between a 
period of great instability, (as shewn by the Glacial sub- 
mergences), and a recent period of repose. The author 
believed that the continuity and distinctness of outline 
of the raised beaches had been much exaggerated ; and 
from what he knew of the rate of encroachment of the 
sea on the shores ot the Bristol Channel, he had no doubt 
that the raised beaches off the west coast of Scotland 
may have been carved out of jointed rocks (irrespective 
of the hardness of the rocks), in a comparatively brief 
period ; while their frequent transverse horizontality indi- 
cated a somewhat sudden emergence, as if partly brought 
about by earthquakes. The author, in conclusion, 
noticed certain phenomena which might be regarded as 
inconsistent with the views he had been advocating, 
among others, the Lake-dwellings of Switzerland, in 
reference to which he remarked that the probable exten- 
sion of the glaciers of the Alps in Neolithic times, might 
have been accompanied by a much more rapid deposition 
of mud in the Swiss lakes than has been the case during 
the last few thousand years. 



By J. Campbell Bbown, D.Sc., F.C.S. 

1. Hard Sandstone, composed of angular grains; 
taken from the Pebble beds at a depth of 700 feet from 
the surface. 

2. Lower Bunter Sandstone, composed of rounded 
grains; taken at a depth of 1180 feet. Softer than No. 1. 

3. Slightly Marly Sandstone, composed of granular 
or powdery particles ; taken at a depth of 1280 feet. 

Results of analysis expressed in parts per cent : — 

1. 2. 8. 

Sand and insoluble matter 95-16 94*2 86-72 

Alumina and Oxides of Iron -86 1 -94 2-66 

Lime 1-16 1-08 4-74 

Magnesia -88 -36 -82 

Carbonic Acid (in combination with 

Lime and Magnesia) 1*43 1* 4*8 

Traoes of other substances and loss -52 1*47 -76 

lO^ 100^ 100- 

The lowest sample approaches in composition the j ' " / 
Upper Permian ; but there is no reason to believe that 
it really belongs to the Permian. 

The first few gallons of water pumped from the bot- 
tom of the bore did not seem to be affected much by the 
difference in the composition of the rock. 

The water near the surface is very hard, owing to 
local causes; the hardness is slightly less at the depth 
of 600 feet, and it is again as high at the depth of 1300 
feet as it is near the surface. 

The proportion of Common Salt increases slightly as ] f 
we descend from 500 to 1300 feet. 

(We are indebted to the Water Committee oj the Borough 
for permission to quote the above analyses J 






By T. Mbllard Reade, C.E.,F.G.S., F.R.I.B.A. 

The connection existing between scenery and Geology 
has always been a very attractive subject to me. The 
following notes are principally the result of observations 
made during a summer holiday in 1878, and refer to the 
country from Belfast round the north of Ireland, and 
down the west coast as far south as Galway. 

Landing at Belfast early in the morning, the first 
objects of interest to me were the raised beaches, con- 
taining flint implements, that margin the shore of Belfast 
Lough : a drive along the northern shore past Carrick- j 

fergus to Kilroot, gives one a very correct notion of the 
physical geology of the Lough. These Post-Glacial 
gravel beaches usually rest upon a purple-red Boulder- 
clay, not unlike the marine Boulder-clay about Liverpool. 
From descriptions I had read, I expected to find a much 
more persistent level obtained than what is actually the 
case. So far as my observations extended, these gravelly 
beaches are to be found at all levels between high water 
and 12 feet above it. I fear very much that the love of 
symmetry has misled many a geologist before now, and the 
persistent beaches at different w T ell-defined levels, supposed 
to have been traced over a considerable extent of country, 
are often more " diagrammatic " than real. The Boulder- 
clay contains very large blocks of basalt and indurated 
chalk, intermixed with many flints. Large blocks of chalk 
lie on the shore, and exhibit signs of glaciation. It is quite 
evident that the Post-Glacial beaches are reconstructed 
from the pebbles of the Boulder-clay. At a point on the 


shore approaching Carrickfergus, the Boulder-clay is 
seen to lie upon the Triassic Marls, thus further showing 
what I have formerly contended for, that the matrix 
of our Boulder-clay, which is of a similar nature, is 
principally derived from the New Red Marl. 

An excursion along the south shore shows an extensive 
alluvial flat, increasing towards Holywood, near to which 
it is bordered by a low gravel bank eroded into a low cliff 
by the waves. As is usual in such cases, a stream occu- 
pies a position between this bank and the old margin of 
the Lough. 

In a quarry by Cultra the eroded edges of the Silurian 

rocks are overlaid by a deposit of Drift containing some 

few pieces of red sandstone. The Drift is of a red colour 

and irregularly bedded, having the appearance of being 

l> sub-aerial waste. 

Near Bangor, in Ballyhome Bay, is a very extensive 
cliff of sand and gravel, consisting of alternating beds, 
one thick bed situated near the base being composed 
of gravel and shingle. The beds are numerous, 
vary much in thickness, and have a general dip 
to the left as you face the cliff. I could find no shells. 
The surface was undulating, as is usual in Drift coun- 
' tries, and covered with grass.* A Post-Glacial beach, 

with shells about five feet above high water and rest- 
ing upon the Silurian rocks, is to be seen at another 
point between the last section and the village of Bangor. 
The general appearance of this place — rocks, houses, 
walls, as well as the name — reminds one strongly of 
North "Wales. 

Between Bangor and Newtownards there is a good 
exposure of rounded, knobby rocks, well smoothed, but 

* Mr. Joseph Wright, of Belfast, informs me that these sands and 
gravels are considered to be Post-Glacial. 




unstriated. Approaching the sandstone quarry at New- 
townards is an exposure of Drift, in general appearance 
intermediate between moraine matter and our Drift. In 
this I detected a well-faced striated stone, of which I 
took a chipping. Further on a cutting in the road shewed 
a section of what appeared at first sight to be sand, but 
really proved to bo a mass of basalt decomposed in situ, 
exactly as the stones of a similar nature in our Boulder- 
clay are found decomposed into a sand. This was 
covered by a rubbly Drift. 

The Bed Sandstone quarry at Newtownards was 
especially interesting to me. The stone is exactly like 
the Runcorn Keuper, and is pebbleless. This is a remark- 
able proof of the extended area over which the same 
conditions prevailed at this period, and is suggestive 
of facts in physical geology. The preservation of this 
small patch of secondary rock is highly instructive, and 
a further indication of all that Mr. Judd urges of the great 
destruction of secondary strata that has taken place in 
Great Britain and Ireland. There is another patch of 
Triassic strata that I am acquainted with, at Kingscourt, 
between Meath and Cavan, preserved by a trough fault. 

The top of the rock is covered with a Drift about 
twenty feet thick, of a red-sandy nature, with a few 
included stones and flints. This Drift is also evidently 
largely reconstructed from the underlying material. 

From Lame to Cushendall sections of a Post-Glacial 
raised beach are io be found along the coast, and flint 
implements washed out of it are to be picked up on the 
shore. The distinguishing feature of the geology of the 
district is the basalt overlying the chalk, and very 
picturesque sections are met with in the coast cliffs. 

Near Ballygally Head is a gravel pit disclosing a very 
interesting section of Drift. The lower part of the section 



l$v^3i' J =>}£& 


■ v 

* r 


. I 



is composed of current-bedded coarse sand and fine 
gravel ; then follows a bed of sand, very regular, about four 
inches thick ; above this is an irregular mixture of sand 
and clay, graduating into an unstratified arenaceous 
Boulder-clay. Capping the whole is a thin bed of surface 
detritus, on which is a covering of grass. In the sand 
and gravel fragments of shells were very common, 
among which were Astarte elliptica and compressa, Leda 
pernula, Mytilus, and Natica.* f 

At Glenarm the junction of the basalt and underlying 
chalk is well exposed in a quarry by the road, and the 
Boulder-clay, a sort of grey Till, is also seen at another 
point, as shewn in the sketch reposing on the chalk. At 
Carron Point the basalt and chalk are well exhibited. 
Further along the coast we come upon exposures of Red 
Marl, and at Bed Bay sand dunes are to be seen. Being 
so familiar with them at Crosby, I instantly looked 
round to trace their origin, and found it in the New Red 
Conglomerates and Old Red Sandstone. The New Red 
Conglomerates contain mostly boulders of quartzite and 
a schistise granite. Sea caves are also to be seen half- 
way up the cliffs (see sketch). At Cushendall, on the 
coast, are what appear to be Old Red Sandstone rocks. 
This is a very picturesque spot. The most striking 
feature in the landscape to a stranger, is the abundance 
and luxurious growth of fuchsias. 

From Cushendall to the Giant's Causeway. — At Glen 
Dun, just past the bridge, are exposures of angular Drift 
lying on the mountain side ; in one case this was rudely 
stratified. At the top of the road there is a thin covering 

* I am indebted to Mr. R. D. Darbishire for these determinations. 

\. Mr. Joseph Wright tells me he has taken 25 species of Foraminifera 
from these gravels. Dr. Grainger gives in the Report of British Assoc, 
Belfast, 1874, a list of shells frem those gravels at apparently the same 
same place, called by him " Ballyrudder," and also states that he found 
a mammoth tooth in them. 


similar Drift lying upon broken gneissic rock. On the 
moor above there also appears to be a thin covering of 
similar Drift, and indeed this character of Drift is also 
commonly met with among the mountains in Great 

Just as the road begins to fall towards Ballycastle is a 
singular lakelet, which only contains water during heavy 
rains. My attention was attracted to it by there being 
apparently no outlet, while a stream of water of con- 
siderable proportions was running into it. The driver 
of my "outside car" informed me that it disappeared 
through a hole in the bottom, and that in dry weather only 
a pool of water remained about two yards across. At 
different levels were to be seen beach marks; first black 
mud, next a gravel beach above it, and a beach above 
that strewn with boulders, forming perfect zones at well- 
marked levels surrounding the pool of water, which was 
then about 150 yards in diameter. The surface of the 
country was bog. I imagine this must be a swallow- 
hole in the chalk — though I could see no signs of chalk 
about — as the pool occurs just on the junction of the 
gneiss and chalk, as nearly as I could judge, according 
to Hull's geological map of Ireland. The swallow-hole 
not being equal to taking storm water, when storms 
occurred a lakelet formed. It struck me as a singular 
phenomenon, and it is certainly the first instance I have 
seen of a lake with the "bottom knocked out! " 

At Fairhead is to bo seen a grand example of glacia- 
tion. The basaltic rocks are there, over a large area, 
ground into rounded forms. It is, in fact, one great 
roche moutonne. I examined it closely, but could find no 
groovings or striations, but I do not think it possible the 
phenomenon could result from field-ice, for every channel 
between the knolls was as perfectly smoothed as the 


convexities. It appeared to me that only the passage of 
an immense sheet of land ice could account for such a 
surface form. I confess that, after all the extravagances 
of the Glacialists of late, I began to feel rather "cool" 
towards the Glacial Period; but here was indubitable 
evidence of the action of some great moving force. 

A peep over the cliffs at Fairhead well repays the 
lover of the picturesque, the artist as well as the geolo- 
gist. I sometimes think that while paying such close 
attention to the frame-work, the anatomy, so to speak, 
of this -world of ours, we neglect the other side of Nature 
— beauty, form and effect. Sketch-book in hand, I try 
to preserve myself from this dry and arid feeling; but a 
look over the cliffs at Fairhead, a perfectly vertical wall 
of rock hundreds of feet high, the sloping talus below 
appearing almost level land through being directly under 
the eye, and the opposite coast of the Island of Islay 
high up on the horizon, the most unemotional investi- 
gator must be for the moment drawn out of himself by 
the unexpected grandeur of the scene. Not less grand, 
and more beautiful, is the view from Fairhead over 
Murlough Bay. 

The Giant's Causeway to Port Eush. — So much has 
been said and written about the Giant's Causeway, that 
an exaggerated notion of its geological importance pre- 
vails. Having been frequently warned by people I met 
on my journey that I should be disappointed, of course 
I was not. I detest show places, so after making a 
couple of sketches of scenery that would appear more 
remarkable were it not so much talked of, I was not 
sorry to go on to Port Eush. There is much grander 
scenery in Ireland than the Giant's Causeway, and it is 
only the remarkable regularity of the columnar structure 
of one of the beds of basalt that makes it an object of 


Port Bush is a pleasant place to spend a day or two 
at. To the eastward is a long sweep of sandy shore 
terminating in a dark promontory of basalt. On the 
shore to the westward are the remarkable Lias rocks, 
converted into hornstone, formerly the subject of so much 
controversy between the Wernerians and Huttonians; 
and also the raised Poet- Glacial beach mentioned in Port- 
lock's ' 'Geology of Londonderry. ' ' The sea has quarried out 
the altered Lias rocks, leaving large lumps, that on a 
sketch look more like wagons than anything else. The 
chalk cliffs and caves a few miles eastward of Port Rush 
are, I believe, well worth a visit, which should be done 
in a boat. There are also good sections of the chalk to 
be seen from the road, between Dunluce Castle and Port 
Bush, with sections of basalt filling up a valley in the 

Pobt Bush to Derby and Moville. — The Railway 
passes under the Magilligan headland, where you often 
see the basalt capping the chalk. This headland is a 
striking object from the opposite side of Lough Foyle. 
Taking the steamer from Derry to Moville, we get a 
good view of very pleasing scenery, the herbage coming 
down to the water's edge. The green fields of the shore, 
and the sunshine, rain and rainbow effects, on the water, 
were very beautiful. Near Moville I stayed a few days 
with a friend, and joined Dr. Wm. King in several geolo- 
gical and antiquarian excursions. 

The rocks of Donegal, between Loughs Foyle and 
Swilly, are mostly gneiss and schist, with occasional 
beds of limestone more or less crystalline. In one 
quarry we examined between Bed Castle and Moville, the 
limestone was very carbonaceous and much crushed and 
crumpled. No fossils were to be found but patches of 
carbon and graphite, as if the skin of an animal or the 


soft parts had become carbonised. Near this I discovered 
some glacial striatums in a smoothed trough of schistose 
rocks, having a bearing magnetic E. and W. 

At Carramore the antiquary will be interested in the 
striking stone crosses to be seen in what is now a field. 
One that I sketched stood 12 feet out of the ground, and 
was cut out of one piece of flaggy sandstone; but perhaps 
the most remarkable object in this ancient burial place, 
was a rude stone lying on the ground, with a Latin cross 
upon it, incised, the arms representing truly the several 
points of the compass, shewing that the stone had not 
been moved since the cross was worked on it ; close to it 
in the same block was an eliptical hole, 11 inches by 8 
inches, probably for holy water. 

On this journey we passed & bog where stumps of 
trees were exposed ; on examination I found them to be 
rooted in the clay below. They were both of oak and pine. 
It is curious how they bleach white with the weather. 
The pine was being cut up for firewood. Its timber 
when freshly cut was as clear and sound as a bell, of a 
reddish tint and very resinous whereas the oak appeared 

Near Moville there is a good development of Drift by 
the banks of a stream. It is hard, and looks like a con- 
glomerate, standing with a vertical face about 20 feet 
high, where the stream at a bend has cut into it. There 
had recently been a fall of a portion by undermining, 
but such was the tenacity of the mass that the upper 
part bridged it over, forming a cavern, the stream mean- 
while being engaged in washing the fallen mass of Drift 
away. I could find no shells in it. A thin covering of 
Drift lies usually on the rocks, always partaking of their 
nature. Between Moville and Carramore I observed 


some glaciated schistose rocks, with groovings 20° W. of 
N., or at right angles to those before described. Along 
the shore of Lough Foyle are to be picked up among the 
loose stones, very good examples of plicated schist. 

Before taking leave of the remarkable district we 
have just rapidly traversed, it will be instructive to con- 
sider what geological impression it leaves on the mind. 
The preservation of the Chalk, Lias, and Triassic beds 
which occur under the capping of basalt, is the most 
noticeable thing that strikes the geological observer. 
Casting the eye over Professor Hull's "Geological Map of 
Ireland," we see that nowhere is the Chalk or Lias to be 
found excepting on the margin of the basalt, and if we 
omit the little patch of Trias in Meath and Cavan, the 
same may be averred of the New Bed Sandstone. The 
Oolite, according to Portlock, is represented by a patch 
under the the Chalk near Magilligan headland, from 40 to 
50 feet thick, and not having a great horizontal extension. 
Only less remarkable than the absence of these strata, ex- 
cepting at the outcrop of the plateau of Miocene dolorite, is 
the enormous amount of denudation which has occurred 
since the Miocene lavas were poured over the Cretaceous 
strata. This is to be seen in every valley opening on to 
the coast line, the horizontal sheet of basalt being 
severed by the actual removal of the strata which form- 
erly filled up the space now occupied by the valley, which 
is frequently cut down through the Chalk to the strata 
below. All this work must have been effected since late 
Tertiary times. It would be an improbability, amount- 
ing almost to the ridiculous, to suppose that the lavas 
were just poured over the whole of the Chalk and nowhere 
else. Every fact points to the conclusion that enormous 
areas of strata from the Triassic upwards, have been 
removed by denudation since Miocene times, A study of 


Mr. Judd's admirable third paper on the* " Secondary 
Bocks of Scotland/' will not fail to forcibly impress 
one in this direction. The isolated patches of Secondary 
rocks he has so assiduously sought and found, and the 
geology he so graphically describes, must, I think, lead 
to the view advocated by him, that these rocks are, so to 
speak, but the torn pages of the book of nature, of 
which the missing portions, once continuous, have been 
removed by denudation. What a vista of geological 
time does not this unfold ? 

Enniskillen. — By the railway in Tyrone, on the way 
to Enniskillen, there appears to be a great development 
of limestone boulder Drift, extensive and deep, cut into 
knolls by rain and river action. It has certainly been 
much denuded. There is a similar Drift by Lough Erne. 

On the island of Devenish is the most perfectly 
constructed Bound Tower I have seen in Ireland. The 
joints and beds are most beautifully fitted together. The 
stone is a sandstone, probably Carboniferous. The boat- 
man informed me that there is a quarry of similar stone 
about two miles up the lake. The top of the cone- 
shaped roof had been forced off by a tree growing out of 
it, and about five feet had to be rebuilt. The jambs of 
the doorway shew the most perfect workmanship of the 
kind I have seen. It is remarkable that the church close 
to is all of Mountain Limestone excepting one niche, 
which is of sandstone similar to the tower. The masonry 
of the tower is comparatively little weathered. Most of 
the stones are on their natural bed, but some appear to 
be set vertical to the bed. The windows at the top are 
nearly true N. S. E. and W., but the door is not to a 
definite point of the compass, being a little to one side 
of E. (see sketch). The boatman informed me he had 

* Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, August, 1878. 


gone on sounding expeditions on Lough Erne, and that 
no part of it was more than 100 feet deep, the average 
being about 60 feet; the bottom under the mud was 
blue clay. This lough winds about more like a river 
than a lake. 

Bundoban. — Here are to be seen two things — very- 
remarkable cliffs of Carboniferous Limestone rocks, and 
not less remarkable bathing! These cliffs, though not 
at all lofty, are, from their rugged outlines, very grand. 
The sea quarries out large blocks ; one I saw was about 
the size of a large cottage. The grandeur of outline is 
due to the regularity of the bedding and jointing, the 
rectangularity of the jointing being repeated from the 
largest to the smallest scale, so that in places the rock 
is divided into cubes of 8 inches. The view of the 
escarpment mountains of Carboniferous Limestone form- 
ing the background, the accidentally pretty grouping of 
the houses of the town, and the foreground of bold grey 
rock with brilliant orange seaweed on the shore, together 
form a picture not to be easily forgotten. Fossils are 
plentifully exposed on the shore rocks, but are not easy 
to detach perfect. I saw Productus giganteus, almost as 
large as my head. A boulder drift is to be seen all along 
the top of the cliffs. The cliffs to the west of the town 
are especially grand. 

From Bundoran to Sligo we pass over a limestone 
plain, and have in view all the way the striking escarp- 
ment face of Benbulben. The top of this mountain is a 
tableland, 1,722 feet above sea level, on which there is 
about twenty-one acres of bog where turf is cut. The 
limestone beds are nearly horizontal, as seen from the 
road, and the tableland being bounded by a wall of rock 
finishing with a curved talus of remarkable regularity, 
renders this mountain a very conspicuous feature in the 

t ~* 



scenery. Here and in the Burren, County Clare, is the 
only limestone scenery in Ireland of a mountainous 
character; the rest, although of vast extent, is a plain. 

At Drumcliff is the base of a Bound Tower of very 
rude workmanship, and also a very richly-carved Irish 

Sligo is remarkable as a commercial town lying in 
the midst of beautiful scenery. On one side of the river 
are the quays, with vessels lying to them ; on the other, 
green fields and grassy slopes. Half-an-hour's rowing 
will take us up to Loch Gill, and among some of the 
most beautiful scenery in Ireland. On one side of this 
lake the Carboniferous Limestone is faulted against 
metamorphic schists. These schists constitute the 
mountain scenery of the lake, characterised by rounded 
outlines, strikingly different to Benbulben, which may be 
seen, in all its squareness, from the southern side of the 
lake. The lake itself appears to be wholly in the lime- 
stone. The mountain slopes, the shores and islands of 
the lake are beautifully wooded. The water, mirror-like, 
reflected clearly Nature's loveliness, which the Irish 
gnats seemed determined I should not transfer to paper! 

From Sligo to Ballina we have the Ox Mountains on 
our left most of the way. On this journey we were 
accompanied in the car by a number of Irish butchers, 
who seemed on the most affectionately embracing terms. 
They laughed, they hooted, they shouted, and chaffed all 
passers-by, while occasionally caressing each other. 
The truth that " men are but children of a larger 
growth" was strongly impressed upon me. The morning 
was bright and sunny, and although the route is described 
as a "dreary drive," we did not find it so. There was a 
beautiful view, over Sligo Bay, of the mountains of 
Donegal, and all Nature seemed pleasant and beaming. 


Large boulders were to be seen as we approached 
Ballina, apparently of granite which had been uncovered 
in the digging of turf, which apparently bottomed on 

From Ballina is a very nice excursion to Killala. On 
the way I examined a bog, with the same results as 
described in Donegal, excepting that I found, in addition 
to pine and oak, a birch branch. The pine trees bot- 
tomed on the Drift-clay. A very intelligent Scotch 
farmer I met at Sligo said he farmed land near Ballina, 
and had frequently taken pine timber out of the bog, 
sawn it up, and used it for building. He was very posi- 
tive the pine was not Scotch fir, describing it as a species 
of red pine. The timber he considered was more durable 
than ordinary building timber. In a very old house in 
the neighbourhood it had been used, and is as sound 
now as ever. One trunk he sawed up was four feet in 
diameter at the butt and 36 feet long, "shaped like a 
round tower," which he described was the characteristic 
shape of the timber.* He had also found firkins of butter 
in the bog — a common occurrence, as may be seen on 
reference to Kinahan's recent "Geology of Ireland.' ' 

At Killala is a Bound Tower built of limestone, the 
stones rude, irregular and open jointed. It has been 
patched up and repaired at the top. The four windows 
represent nearly the points of the compass ; the door, as 
usual is a little to the side of a perpendicular from one of 
the windows, in this case being nearly S.W. 

On the return we visited Moyne Abbey, an interest- 

* The late Dr. Moore, of Glasnevin Botanical Gardens, Dublin, was 
very strongly of opinion that only Pinus sylvestris, or Scotch fir, occurs 
in the Irish bogs. Mr. More, another botanist of Dublin, also holds the 
same views, and informs me that the authority for the reported occur- 
rence of cones of Pinus pinaster and pinea in the bogs is Sir William 
Wylde's •* Catalogue of the Antiquities in the Royal Irish Academy," p. 
199. " This is quoted in former editions of Babington's Manual, but 
has been omitted in the last." 


ing ruin, with characteristic central square tower, of a 
type> so far as I know, peculiar to Ireland. We also 
paid a visit to Tom Molloy, a local celebrity, who carves 
in bog oak, and occupies a roadside tavern. Like many 
geniuses Tom is a singular man. He took me into what 
he calls his "studio," and there resting on his bed was 
a cleverly carved armchair, with the arms " articulated" 
in short joints which bent to the pressure of the arm. 
Unfortunately I applied too much weight and one arm 
gave way, the pieces scattering like beads over the floor. 
They had been threaded with a piece of string. There 
was really very little harm done, but Tom sorely discon- 
certed returned to his shop, resting his chin on his hand 
and his elbow on a beer barrel, with an expression of 
reproachful melancholy on his face. I felt very sorry, 
but he was now unapproachable, so all I could do was to 
take a lingering look at a figure carved in stone, which 
appeared more like a Hindoo god than anything else. 
The man evidently had talent but it wanted educating. 
It struck me that his representations of the human form 
preserved much of the characteristics of savage art. It 
appears as if in the life of the individual is the history 
of the life of the race — another fact for Darwin ! Bid- 
ding good-bye to the statue of Dan O'Connell on the roof 
of Tom Molloy's residence, we drove on to Ballina. 

From Ballina to Westport the railway shews lime- 
stone Drift until we reach Foxford, where there occur 
large boulders of granite, also gneiss in the Drift ; this 
is a sure sign of the proximity of these rocks. Alterna- 
ting patches of gravel Drift occur up to and on the mar- 
gin of Lough Conn, which the railway skirts, and large 
blocks occur by the lake. At Manulla junction I ex- 
amined a section of the Drift in the cutting. It is of 
black limestone. The stones are slightly scratched, not 


planed or grooved. There were also some pieces of sand- 
stone half quartzite, and some quartz pebbles. Bog, 
alternating with Drift getting of a reddish colour, are 
seen in the cuttings as we approach Westport. 

Arriving at Westport we lost no time in getting down 
to Clew Bay, where we engaged the services of Mr. Wood, 
his boat, and his boy. This was really a delightful day. 
Clew Bay is full of islands of Drift, with instructive sec- 
tions at every turn. These islands have been horizon- 
tally eroded by the water forming a beach and a cliff, in 
some cases, as in the island called the "Scotchman's 
Bonnet/ ' extending all round. Some of the sections, as 
at Pigeon Point, shew an overlying, irregular mass of 
limestone conglomerate, formed by the cementing of 
the blocks of limestone by carbonate of lime. At one 
point this has been worn into caverns and fantastic 
shapes by the action of the waves. Many of the 
islands have a slope one side, usually landwards, 
and a cliff on the other. It is evident that they were all 
rounded in outline once and have been worn into cliff 
by the sea since. It appears that the beach, once formed, 
helps to protect the Drift from further denudation, as 
then it is only very high tides and gales that affect it. 

We landed at Dorinch Island, the western face of 
which is cliff-like, 100 feet high, the face being furrowed 
in vertical grooves in a remarkable manner. This must 
partly result from the wash of the spray of the sea as 
well as from rain, but it is a proof of the consistency 
and firmness of the Drift that it assumes and preserves 
this form. 

The Drift is mostly calcareous; there are large 
blocks of quartzite and some trappean rocks scattered 
about, but I could see none that were planed or grooved, 
though I examined many. The limestone blocks are 



worn into smooth, irregular shapes, and indifferently 
scratched. Most of the blocks are angular or subangu- 
lar. Those on the shore were worn either quite smooth 
and oval or were subangular. The biggest stones were 
on the top of the ridge, so far as I could judge. 

This island is connected with another by a very re- 
markable natural breakwater of pebbles, about 1£ miles 
long. A spur runs out on the southern side of the bay, 
and another extends towards it from the island, leaving 
a water passage between, about 800 feet wide and 100 
deep. At the north end, the boatman informed me, there 
is a similar passage. Thus a natural harbour is formed 
in Clew Bay similar to that inside the breakwater at 
Plymouth. The sea must be very stormy here at times, 
as the boatman said when it blew a gale he could 
hear the breakers at his home 7 miles off. 

This ridge must be continually altering and recon- 
structing, as on the inner side eastwards, it was, when 
I saw it, eaten into and worn quite steep like a cliff. As 
far as I could judge the biggest stones appeared to be 
at the top of the ridge. No doubt all the material has 
been derived from the Drift, probably some of it torn up 
from the bottom. The width of the ridge at the top was 
only about 10 feet, and its height about 8 feet above spring 
tide, as nearly as I could judge from the tide mark of 
seaweeds. The top is flat, and the section on each side a 
concave curve getting quicker towards the top. 

This is a very remarkable physical phenomenon, and 
one well worth studying. It appeared to me to be due 
to the set of the tidal currents through the islands, 
modified from time to time by the wind. Like the 
Chesil Bank, the sea builds up its own barrier, and every 
storm piles up new materials to resist its own force, but 
the constant action of the tides mainly determines the 


result. The waves are destructive as well as construe* 
tive. I think such a natural feature could not form in 
any but comparatively shallow water. The inrush of the 
tide through each water way being so restricted will keep 
them deep and clear. The breakwater is the resultant 
of a variety of forces ; and, perhaps is more remarkable, 
though not so large as the Chesil Bank. 

From Westport to Leenane we pass over a country of 
bog and boulders with occasional stumps of trees peep- 
ing out. At Errive there is a fine section of gravelly 
moraine Drift, where the river cuts through it, and fine 
glaciated rocks beyond. There is'moraine Drift all down 
the river valley. 

At Leenane there is a section of stratified boulder 
gravel Drift to the left just before reaching the hotel. 

At Kylemore, by the lake, current-bedded boulder 
Drift is to be seen ; beyond Letterfrack moraine clay.* 

At Clifden there is a remarkable pebble breakwater 

at the entrance to the bay, of very considerable area, at 
the top partly covered with grass, and about 6 feet high 
above spring tides. The pebbles are very irregular and 
not much worn, being mostly of schistose rocks. 

In the drive from Clifden to Galway there is nothing 
very noticeable from the car. At Glendalough, Hull says 
there is a terminal moraine in one of the side valleys. 
Kecess is a very pretty place. At Oughterarde the river 
has cut a remarkable overhanging shelf of rock out of 
the limestone. The scenery of Connemara is very like 
parts of Scotland, but on a less scale. 

At Galway I was hospitably entertained by Professor 
King, and we went a short geological excursion together 
to the Burren, in county Clare. The terraces of lime- 

* The scenery has been so often described that, though beautiful, 
I have not ventured to again describe it. 


stone as seen ^from the bay are striking. They are 
more numerous and regular, and extend to greater dis- 
tances than any limestone terraces I have seen elsewhere. 
Landing at Ballyvaughan we ascended the Corkscrew 
Hill on the Lisdoonvarna Road. There the terraces can 
be seen to advantage, encircling the hills on either side 
of the valley. A large portion of the surface of these 
limestone steps is devoid of vegetation. The eye ranges 
along the valley over the Galway Bay to the opposite 
coast, and on a rounded hill at the mouth of the valley, 
set against the background of blue water, we see the 
upper part bare grey limestone, the lower slopes green 
with vegetation, and it is green here ; the limit of growth 
being so defined a line, as to occasion a dispute as to 
whether it were not bounded with a wall ; further ex- 
amination proved it was not. 

The best view of these extensive terraces is undoubt- 
edly to be had in the Columkill Glen. One of the hills 
is so encircled with terraces as to give it the appearance 
of a pile of cakes of successively smaller diameter 
towards the summit. Mrs. King has christened it Cake 
Mountain! From the road towards the head of the 
Glen the curving of the terraces is well seen in perspec- 
tive, as some of them are slightly below the eye. Geo- 
logically speaking, it is a grand country, and in its way 
one of the best things I have seen. Nor would the 
Burren, I think, altogether fail to kindle the enthusiasm 
of the artist. In some cases the lines of jointing can be 
seen from top to bottom of the mountain, as straight as 
a die, from the tufts of vegetation emphasising them. 
All the rain water disappears through the joints and 
fissures, and reappears as springs. The town of Bally- 
vaughan is supplied with water from three of these 
springs, conducted thence in iron pipes. Each spring is 


a "holy well," and usually there exists a thorn close by, to 
which votive offerings of red cloth are tied by the pil- 
grims. It is the sort of country which to live in is to be 
superstitious ; Nature in her aspects seems to make it so.* 

I will not attempt to explain the way in which I con- 
ceive these terraces have originated, excepting to record 
my view that they are subaerial, though candour compels 
me to say that my friend Dr. King thinks differently. 
At all events, they clearly show one thing — enormous 
denudation. The terraces are nearly horizontal, but not 
quite, and follow the lines of bedding. The beds have 
evidently been continuous across these wide and exten- 
sive valleys. 

At the entrance to Columkill Glen there is a ruin of 
a church, with a doorway constructed in the Cyclopean 
style of masonry. Unfortunately a ram occupying the 
field objected very strongly to our antiquarian researches, 
and a battle ensued lasting twenty minutes. The geolo- 
gical hammer eventually settled the dispute sufficiently 
for us to get away, but only one jamb of the doorway 
was sketched. Mr. "Butt" established "home-rule" in 
his field at the expense of a very sore head. 

Corcomroe Abbey is a good specimen of transition 
from Norman to Early English, and possesses some 
specially Irish points worth noticing, t 

I have now sketched the features of the country as 
they appeared to me while I rapidly passed through it; but 
as I devoted rather more time to the examination of the 
Drift about Galway, I will, before finishing, treat of it 

* An account of the Burren, by me, is shortly given in the " Science 
Gossip," January, 1879. 

f A measured drawing of this Abbey, and also of the Bound Tower 
at Kilmacduagh, were published in the " Architect,' ' July 12th, 1879. 




At Blake Hill, about two miles west of Galway, a 
typical section of the Drift is to be seen. The whole hill 
is composed of a mass of calcareous detritus, extremely 
finely comminuted. It contains many boulders and large 
stones, the majority being limestone and the next in 
quantity granite. The sea has eaten into the originally 
rounded hill and made very fine cliff sections; and such is 
the compactness with which this calcareous cement has set, 
that the cliffs are vertical, and indeed in some places 
overhang. The face is studded with stones of all sizes, 
the larger ones apparently being near the top. On the 
surface of the top of the hill, now covered with pasture, 
are also to be seen large blocks, probably weathered out 
of the Drift. On the shore in front of the cliff there are 
many stones, and among them I noticed one of Moycullen 
granite that measured 14 ft. by 11 ft. 6 in., by 10 ft. 
outside measurement, containing about 1,600 cubic feet 
of stone, which at two tons to the cube yard would weigh 
about 80 tons. At one place on the shore are some 
limestone blocks of curiously contorted shapes, due to 
subaerial erosion ; and Dr. King is of opinion they came 
from Lough Corrib, and were eroded before being 
deposited in the Drift. 

The stones in the cliff are many of them scratched, 
but only "furtively." I saw none planed and grooved, 
such as we are accustomed to see in the marine Boulder- 
clay of Lancashire. Those on the shore had their 
scratches effaced. One limestone block on the shore 
measured 7 ft. 6 in., by 4 ft. 6 in., by 8 ft. 2 in. There 
is an island of Drift not far off, and Dr. King says it 
shows more traces of stratification than Blake Hill. 

On the landward side of Blake Hill is a gravel pit 
containing strata of shingle, gravel and boulders, rounded 


and occasionally slightly scratched. The lines of bedding 
follow the inclination of the surface of the hill. Between 
Blake Hill and Galway there is a low pebble ridge. 

Between Ballyvaughan and Black Head on the oppo- 
site side of the bay, many perched blocks of limestone 
are to be seen. The limestone rocks by Black Head are 
rounded in large curves, apparently by ice, but are now 
through denudation breaking up; but through it all the 
rounded outline is plainly to be perceived. In remark- 
able contrast to this are some of the escarpments of 
limestone, so regular in bedding and jointing as to look 
like masonry. 

In the Fermoy Valley a very instructive deposit of 
Drift is to be seen. The stream cuts through what 
appears to be the remains of a great moraine, which, 
excepting for the stream-gully, completely blocks up the 
valley mouth. The stream is at one side of the valley, 
and brings down fine mud like a glacier river. At one 
part the stream runs over a rocky cascade, showing that 
the surface of the rock is in part rugged below the 
moraine matter. At one section disclosed by the stream, 
I saw a limestone block embedded in the moraine, 
measuring 9 feet long. Following up the road, we find 
that the back part of the moraine slopes in the opposite 
direction to the valley, which then begins to widen con- 
siderably. The interior may be a rock basin filled with 
consolidated mud. There do not appear to be any granite 
blocks about; but in the road from Ballyvaughan to 
Corkscrew Hill there are a good many granite boulders 
built into the coping of the wall. 


It may perhaps be considered presumptuous of me 
to express an opinion on the classification of the Irish 
Drift after so short an acquaintance with it. A new 


observer can however often see things that do not strike 
those who are familiar with the object. Besides I was 
on the look out for any clue that might assist me with 
our own Drift, which you know I have long been study- 
ing. I travelled with Professor Hull's book on the 
Physical Geology of Ireland in my hand.* So far as I 

f could understand, and I hope he will correct me if I am 

wrong, he classifies the sort of Drift I have just described 
about Galway as Lower Boulder-clay. As he adopts the 
threefold division, first applied by him to the Lancashire 
Drift, I presume he considers this the equivalent of the 
lower part of the clay at Blackpool. This is, to say the least, 
misleading. What Hull calls the Lower Boulder-clay in 
Ireland, is a deposit of an entirely different nature to 
that of Lancashire, which is undoubtedly marine, con- 

C taining rounded boulders of travelled stones as well as 

shell fragments. Whereas the Irish Lower Boulder-clay 
is distinguished by the local character of the stones it 
contains, the absence of shells or shell fragments, 
and the general appearance it bears to moraine matter. 
It is a pity Professor Hull, before committing himself 
to this classification and what it involves, did not state 
the grounds which led him to adopt it. 

Not less unwarrantable in my view is the descrip- 
tion of the Wexford gravels, and those discovered by 
the Bev. Maxwell Close at Ballyedmonduff, as "Inter- 
glacial." It is really astonishing on what slender 
foundations these stupendous theories are built. If 
what is called the Upper Boulder-clay lay upon 
gravels containing similar species to those of the high 
level gravels, and these were of a type frequenting warm 
seas, and the Upper Boulder-clay itself contained shells 

* Unfortunately Mr. Kinahan's " Geology of Ireland" was not then 


decidedly arctic in character, there might have been 
a priori grounds for considering these high level gravels 
" Interglacial." It is not pretended that any such 
marked distinction is found. The whole classification, 
to my mind, is an unscientific assumption ; facts being 
fitted into theory, instead of theory being the explana- 
tion of facts. 

Nothing does more harm to geology than these hasty 

For what they are worth I will now give you my 
own explanation of what I have seen; premising, how- 
ever, that these views are only provisional, to be modified 
when a better explanation is brought forward, or further 
facts forthcoming. 

In comparing the Irish Drift deposits with those of 
England, the principal difference that strikes an observer 
is the great extension in England of marine clays and 
sands, and their apparent replacement in Ireland with 
Boulder-clays of a subaerial nature. I say apparent 
replacement, because a visit to the mountainous districts 
of England and Wales will satisfy any investigator that 
the same kind of Boulder-clay occurs here as in Ireland, 
modified by the nature of the parent rocks as in Ireland. 
It appears to me that the Boulder-clay of Galway Bay, 
Clew Bay, and similar submerged valleys in Ireland, has 
been directly laid down by glaciers; and, from the ex- 
tremely fine nature of the clay itself, I argue that it has 
been deposited in water, probably when the glacier has 
been in a state of semi-flotation as it entered the sea ; 
or, in some cases, perhaps where it terminated in fresh 
water lakes, either rock basins or moraine dammed up 
valleys. It is evidently not a marine deposit from drifting 
ice; nor could it have been formed on dryland; the ex- 
tremely fine nature, combined with the great mass of 


material forbids the supposition. The striations of the 
stones are of an indefinite character. The enormous 
blocks of planed and grooved stones in the Lancashire 
Marine Drift are in striking contrast to the local irregu- 
lar and furtively scratched stones of the Irish Glacial or 
Lower Boulder-clay On the east coast, about Belfast 
Lough, the Boulder-clay is, I should say, undoubtedly 
marine, of the same nature as the Lancashire Low-level 
Boulder-clays and sands, all of which I classify together 
as marine.* The section of Drift at Larne I have de- 
scribed I look upon as all marine, modified by the detri- 
tus or submarine talus, due to the presence of high land 
close bye. 

The Esker deposits I unfortunately had no oppor- 
tunity of closely inspecting; but between Galway and 
Dublin on the great central plain they are to be dis- 
tinguished from the train, and from this position I have 
several times looked at and thought about them. Dr. 
King informed me that their marine origin was not 
clearly established by fossil evidence, as it was doubtful 
if marine shells, or in fact any shells, had been authen- 
tically taken from them. 

Still I think it is probable they are marine, as nothing 
but strong currents will satisfactorily account for them* 
The high level gravels I consider as synchronous with our 
own high level gravels of Tryfaen and Macclesfield, and 
I attach no weight to the slight differences of fades of 
the shell fauna, considering it may arise from local 
peculiarities. From physical considerations, I consider 
the submergence in England and Ireland during the 
Glacial Period was general. 

* This view has since been confirmed by information received from 
Mr. Josh. Wright. At Woodbnrn Glen Leda pernula and Leda minuta 
occur in the clay with the valves attached ; also many Foraminifera, 
including Polystomella arctica, which is found fine and in abundance. 


The materials of the Esker ridges, which by a refer- 
ence to the " Beports of Commissioners Appointed to 
Enquire into the Drainage of Irish Bogs," 1811-14, 
are shown generally to bound the bogs, and no doubt to a 
considerable extent cause t hem, have been derived largely 
from the Boulder-clays. They consist mostly of lime- 
stone pebbles, and the same gravelly formation underlies 
the greater area of the bogs themselves, itself frequently 
overlaid by a thin stratum of blue clay, from two to five 
feet thick. I look upon the Eskers as the last remnants 
of the expiring Glacial Period. I see no warrant what- 
ever for classifying them as "Interglacial," except it be to 
harmonise them independently of facts with a precon- 
ceived theory. 

It is now over five years since I wrote Part I. of 
"The Drift Beds of the North-West of England,"* and 
my views, so far as they are there expressed of the 
classification of the Glacial deposits of Lancashire and 
Cheshire, I have seen no reason to change, though I 
have been, as you are aware, engaged in investigating 
the deposits ever since. It appears to me that the same 
classification will hold equally good for the Glacial 
deposits of the opposite side of the Irish Sea. First we 
have the ice-worn surfaces of the rocks, such as those of 
Fairhead, corresponding to the planed and grooved sur- 
faces found under the jnarine clays of Lancashire. Then 
the true Glacial clays of Galway and Clew Bays, syn- 
chronous with similar Boulder-clay found in most Welsh 
valleys. After this comes the marine Boulder-clays of 
Belfast and Larne, corresponding with our Low-Level 
Boulder-clay and sands. Of the Esker period we hardly 
possess a development, doubtless from the nature of the 
materials, as well as the contour of the country not 

* Quarterly Journal of Geological Society, vol. xxx., pp. 27-37. 



being favourable to the accumulation of such a deposit; 
but after inspecting the section of gravel drift at Leyland, 
-described by Mr. Darbishire,* I think it not improbable 
that it may be of the same age as the Irish Eskers, as 
it is really a mound or ridge lying on the Boulder-clay. 

I have pointed out that when the rock is soft in 
Lancashire, that in place of the marine Boulder-clay 
lying on planed and grooved surfaces, there is a deposit 
of red sand between the clay and the parent rock, due 
doubtless to the same cause that planed the rock. This 
is a subaerial Glacial deposit, and no doubt correspondent 
to the oldest of the Glacial clays of Ireland. At the 
same time it is possible these Glacial clays of Galway 
and Clew Bays may represent all the time from the 
grooving of the rocks of the Lancashire plain to the last 
deposit of marine Drift. But this is a question that will 
require further investigation; it does not affect the 
broad outline of the classification I adopt. 

With this slight sketch of Irish scenery and Geology, 
I commend the further study of them in the field to 
other members of the Society who are in search of 
health, amusement, and instruction. 

* Quarterly Journal of Geological Society, vol. xxx., pp. 38-40. 






A. C. RAMSAY, F.R.S., F.G.S., London. 

JOHN MORRIS, F.G.S., London. 

S. J. MACKIE, F.G.S., F.S.A., London. 


EDWARD W. BINNEY, F.R.S., F.G.S., Douglas, Isle of Man. 


HENRY HICKS, F.G.S., M.R.C.S.E., London. 

W. KING, D. So., Queen's College, Galway. 


ABRAHAM, J., Riverham, Grassendale Park. 

87, Bold Street. 
ADDISON, W. H., Deaf and Dumb Institute, Oxford Street. 
ARCHER, F., B.A., Boundary Cottage, Crosby. 

14, Cook Street. 
♦BEASLEY, H., Acre-field House, Woolton. 
•BOSTOCK, R., 8, Grange Lane, Birkenhead. 
BRAMALL, H., 3, Balmoral Road. 

BREWSTER, C, Rev., 14, Selborne Street, Prince's Road. 
BROWN, C. H., Low- wood, Alexandra-road, Southport. 
•BROWN, J. CAMPBELL, D. Sc, F.C.B., 27, Abercromby Square. 
COOGAN, P. M., C.E., 28, Green Lawn, Rock Ferry. 
COOKE, W. H., Aughton Springs, Town Green, Ormskirk. 
DAVIES, C., 8, Kinglake Street, Edge Hill. 


DAWBARN, W., Elmswood, Aigburth. 

The Temple, Dale Street. 
DODD, J., 2, Derby Terrace, Rock Ferry. 
♦fESKRIGGE, R. A., F.G.S., The Woodlands, New Brighton. 

18, Hackin's Hey. 
FABERT, C, 3, St. James' Walk. 
FITZPATRICK, M., 62, Seel Street. 
FITZPATRICK, J. J., 62, Seel Street. 
FOSTER, E., 7, Newstead Road, Smithdown Lane. 
FOSTER, R. M., 34, Oxford Road, Waterloo. 
GREEN, A., York House, Old Chester Road, Rock Ferry. 

9, Canning Place. 
GRIFFITHS, J., 14, Queen Street, Chester. 
•HALL, H. F., F.G.S., Green Heys, Grove Road, Wallasey. 

17, Dale Street. 
HANCE, E. W., LL.B., Municipal Offices, Dale Street. 
HATHAWAY, T., C.E., The Mount, Bangor, North Wales. 
•HIGGINS, H. H., Rev., M.A., Rainhill. 
HEWITT, W.. B. Sc, 67, White Rock Street. 
JACKSON, G. O., 15, Trafalgar Road, Birkdale, Southport, 
JEVONS, G., Jun., 5, Chapel Street. 
JOHNSON, J. H., F.G.S., 64, Albert Road, Southport. 
JONES, T., Top Lane, Wallasey. 

Orange Court, Castle Street. 
KERSHAW, J., Neville Street, Southport. 
LEA, T., Vale Cottage, Huyton Quarry. 
LEIGH-GREGSON, S., Aigburth Road. 

Slater Court, 5, Castle Street. 
L2WIS, J. T., 131, Park Street. 

MACKINTOSH, D., F.G.S., 32, Whitford Road, Higher Tranmere. 
•McCLAY, J. L., Rose Villa, Victoria Road, Oxton. 
♦MARRAT, F. P., 21, Kinglake Street. 
MAYER, J., F.S.A., Pennant House, Lower Behington. 
♦MOORE, T. J., C.M.Z.S,L., 44, Osborne Road, Tue Brook. 

Liverpool Museum. 
♦MORGAN, ALFRED (Honorary Treasurer), 2, Rathbone Terrace, 
Wellington Road, Wavertree. Office, 126, London Road, 

MORTIMER, Captain, Liverpool. 
"fMORTON, G.H., F.G.S., F.R.G.S.I. (Honorary Secretary), 10, Sheil 

Road. 122, London Road. 

fMOTT, C. G., Sunnyside, Cavendfsh Road, Birkenhead. 
McMILLAN, A., Conway, North Wales. 



PATEBSON, J., Palmyra Street, Warrington. 
PEARSE, W., Wellington Buildings, Chapel Walks. 

Green Bank Farm, Wavertree. 
♦fPICTON, J. A., F.S.A., Sandy Knowe, Wavertree. 

4 and 5, Queen Buildings, Dale Street. 
♦POTTER, C., 101, Miles Street. 

PEARSON, J. E., Golborne Park, near Newton-le- Willows. 
QUILLIAM, W. H., Fern Bank, Fairfield Orescent. 
♦fREADE, T. M., O.E., F.G.S., Park Corner, Blundellsands. . r 

Canning Chambers, 4, South John Street. 
♦fRICKETTS, C, M.D., F.G.S., 22, Argyle Street, Birkenhead. 
♦ROBERTS, I., F.G.S., Kennessee, Maghull, Lancashire. 

39, Gardner's Row. 
RICHARDSON, W. A., Holt Hill, Tranmere. 
ROBINSON, J. J., Blundellsands Road. Great Crosby. 
SHONE, W., F.G.S., Upton Park, Chester. 
♦SEMMONS, W., 20, Canning Place. 
STONE, T., Jun., Newton Park, Newton-le- Willows. 
STRONGITHARM, G., 77, Whetstone Lane, Tranmere. 
SPARGO, E., Bangor, North Wales. 
SHERLOCK, C, 63, South John Street. 
WILSON, W. H., St. Michael's Hamlet, Aigburth. 

31, Wapping. 
WRIGHT, B. M., F.R. Hist. Soc, 90, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, 

WARD, T., Northwich, Cheshire. 
WARD, J. R., 57, Garth Road, Bangor, North Wales. 
WOOD, J. J., Olive Mount, Wavertree. 

20, Lord Street. 
YOUNG, H., 12, South Castle Street. 




♦Have read Papers before the Society, 
t Contribute annually to the Printing Fund. 1 

07 THE 

XiwfjMrf {iWfaflttal $mt& 



JSdITED BY pr. ji. ^VIORTON, jF\Jj.j5. 

(The Authors having revised their own papers, are alone responsible 
for the facts and opinions expressed in them*) 

PART ll.-VOL. IV. 



OFFICEBS, 1879-80. 




fonoraru Treasure 


Honorary librarian* 


fonorartj Szcvet&vy. 




T. J. MOORE, C.M.Z.S.L. 





07 THE 



OCTOBEE 14th, 1879. 

The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

The Officers and Council for the ensuing year were 
elected, and the Treasurer read his Annual Eeport, 
which had been audited by Mr. W. Semmons and Mr. 
Isaac Boberts. 

The Anniversary Address was read by the President. 

NOVEMBEB 12th, 1879. 

The Presipent, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

Prof. John W. Judd, F.E.S., was elected an Honorary 
Member of the Society; and W. S. Barrett, J. A. Ede, 
J. H. Lightbody, S. Veevers, and the Eev. Z. T. Dowen, 
were elected Ordinary Members, 

The following communications were read : — 


By Francis Archer, B,A, 



By Charles Ricketts, M.D., F.G.S. 

DECEMBER 9th, 1879. 
The Prbsidbnt, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

The following communication was read : — 



By Charles Ricketts, M.D., F.G.S. 

JANUARY 13th, 1880. 
The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

The following communication was read z— - 
By T. Mellard Reade, C.E., F.G.S. 

FEBRUARY 10th, 1880. 

The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

Mr. G. H. Morton, F.G.S., exhibited and described 
his New Geological Map of Liverpool. It contained a 
much larger area of the Eeuper formation than the maps 
published by the Geological Survey, and will probably 
appear in a new edition of the "Geology of the Country 
around Liverpool." 



MABCH 9th, 1880. 

The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

The following communications were read : — 



By Robert Bostock. 


By R. A. Eskrigge, F.G.S. 




By Prop. Boyd Dawkins, F.R.S. 




By William Summons. 

In considering a subject for a Presidential Address to 
this Society, the difficulty of composing it arises rather 
from the vastness than from the restriction of range of 
field presented to the view. The multiplicity of subjects 
embraced by the term Geology enables us, without travel- 
ling out of our legitimate field, to avail ourselves equally 
of the latest information derived from scraping the bed 
of an ocean depth and that derived from scanning the 
surface of a distant planet. As a consequence, the cease- 
less activity of various workers in the department of 
original research is constantly bringing fresh informa- 
tion before us, whilst in the more elevated region of 
Philosophical Geology we find the same restless spirit in 
the search after truth manifested in the examination, 
revision, and often rejection of old theoretical specu- 
lations and the substitution of new ones. These will in 
their turn doubtless pass through the same ordeal. 

"These little systems have their day, 
They have their day, and cease to be." 

Through the labours of the deep sea dredgers of the 
" Challenger," " Porcupine," &c, we find that a flood of 
light has been thrown on the Physical Geography of our 
globe at a time which, geologically near, is indeed his- 
torically remote. The fabled Atalantis of the Greeks 
seems again to arise from the ocean depths ; its moun- 
tain ranges are brought before us, and the position of its 
volcanoes, which cast such a lurid glare over the Miocene 
epoch, are even surmised at. 


The labours of the investigators of the Extra terres- 
trial rocks are certainly now enabling us to arrive at 
some more rational basis for the consideration of the 
composition of the earth's interior. On all sides we see 
vast fields yet unexplored, showing us how little we yet 
know of the Becords of the Bocks, and how many Medals 
of Creation lie waiting for our gathering. Take, for 
example, the work of Haydyn, King, and others of our 
American brethren, in their examination of Colorado, &c. 
We seem, when reading their descriptions of wondrous 
canons, &c, to be away from this prosaic planet and to 
be placed in a fairy-land of Titanic grandeur and pic- 

Since Geology may fairly be called a world-wide 
science, it is with interest and pleasure we notice the 
International Geological Congress, which held its first 
meeting at Paris last year. Though exception may 
possibly be taken to some of the representatives of the 
various kingdoms, the meeting of eminent Geologists 
from America, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Russia, 
<fcc, cannot fail to advance the knowledge of our science, 
and I look forward with confidence to a more complete 
restoration of the stone book of Nature when we find 
workers from such widely separated districts conferring 
together. We shall all welcome the report of the Com- 
mittee deputed by the Congress to consider the questions 
of the unification of Geological signs, the limits and 
characters of certain formations, and the respective values 
of the Fauna and Flora in defining beds. 

The decision of the Liverpool Town Council to dis- 
continue the boring at Bootle, when a depth of 1,800 
feet had been reached, has been viewed with regret by 
Geologists. It would have been interesting to have 
known to what depth the Triassic rocks extended, and if 


the universal opinion of Geologists were confirmed, that 
Coal could be worked under this town at a moderate 
depth. While on the subject of borings we cannot but 
notice those at Turnford and at Ware, in the latter of 
which beds of Wenlock Shale are found immediately 
beneath the Gault. The results of the various borings 
have now shown conclusively that the grand generaliza- 
tion of Mr. Godwin Austen in his paper "On the possible 
extension of the Coal Measures under South Eastern 
Counties of England," read in 1855, are in the main 
correct. We must all hope that this eminent Geologist 
may yet complete a palseographical atlas, in providing the 
materials for which he has already done so much. The 
"Palaeozoic ridge" may nQW be considered as having 
fully established itself. Ought we not now to call it the 
Godwin Austen ridge ? • 

The Bank of Geological time which was considered 
at the date of the appearance of the first edition of the 
" Origin of Species " to have unlimited capital, seemed 
to have it vastly reduced by the efforts of Sir W. 
Thomson. On physical and mathematical grounds 
(all of which are, however, disputed by others almost 
equally competent) this eminent mathematician placed 
a restriction on the time in which all our known Geo- 
logical operations must have been performed. This 
tendency to restrict Geological time, the effect of which 
could be plainly seen in Prof. Huxley's address to the 
Geological Society in 1859, seems to have reached its 
full development at the time of the meeting of the 
British Association at Glasgow, where Prof. Young con- 
ceded that the fifteen million years which Prof. Guthrie 
Tait — less liberal than Sir W. Thomson — allowed as 
the measure of time, was sufficient for the working out 
of the Geological problem. The tide of thought has 


since then set in in a contrary direction, and Physical 
Geologists, pointing with confidence to their uncon- 
formities and other proofs, demand a practically un- 
limited period. As Prestwich long ago remarked, the 
fundamental truths of Geology are as well established 
as those of Astronomy or Mathematics, and it is for 
Physicists to consider whether the premises on which 
their conclusions are based are absolutely and incontro- 
vertibly true. Our member, Mr. T. Mellard Beade, 
G.E., F.G.S., has attacked this question from another 
point of view, which Prof. Bamsay gracefully calls "a 
new one to me." Proceeding on the basis of the 
gradual progress or evolution of time, as the present is 
approached, he arrives at the conclusion that the 
elimination of the calcareous matter contained in the 
sedimentary crust of the earth must have occupied at 
least 600 millions of years. Mr. Beade gives from the ■ .' 
Laurentian to Silurian, from Old Bed to New Bed Sand- j / 
stone, and Jurassic to Post-pliocene inclusive, a period 
of 200 millions of years each. 

The abhorrence of Nature to artificial classifications 
may be seen in Geology, as in other branches of science. 
How many attempts have been made to classify the 
crystalline rocks ? In the past year this difficult task 
has been undertaken by that most eminent mineralogist, 
Prof. Dana. As might have been anticipated, the chemical 
relations of the rocks form the basis of this elaborate 
analysis, and we are to deal in future with the Mica and 
Potash Felspar series, the Hornblende and Potash 
Felspar series, the Hornblende and Soda-Lime Felspar 
series, the Pyroxene Garnet Epidote and Chrysotile 
rocks, containing little or no Felspar, and the hydrated 
magnesian and aluminous rocks, containing little or no 
Felspar. Some of the difficulties inseparable from this 


method of classification have been clearly pointed out by 
Prof. Bonney. I would only here suggest that the origin 
of a rock has claims to consideration as well as its 
mineralogical composition. It seems a very arbitrary 
law to separate Mica from Talcose and Chloritic Schists, 
and place the former with Granites, and the two latter 
with Serpentine. 

Whilst on the subject of classification, it is fitting 
to pay a tribute of respect to one, so lately removed from 
us, whose clear and lucid intellect exercised so great an 
influence in directing the minds of Geologists to the 
necessity of " arriving at a common ground for all 
nations in respect to the important matter of rock 
nomenclature." I allude to B. Von Cotta, of Freiberg. 
Yet even his latest edition of "Bocks classified and 
described,' ' though of the highest value, is necessarilly 
imperfect, for as the gifted author remarks, "Science 
marches with uninterrupted steps towards new fields of 
discovery, and every year alters its aspect." 

It is not within the purpose of the present address to 
notice the additions to our Palffiontological knowledge in 
the past year, but it seems almost necessary to call atten- 
tion to the discovery in the Jurassic formation of the 
Bocky Mountains, by Prof. 0. C. Marsh, of the remark- 
able reptile which he has called the " Sauranodon," and 
on which he has founded a new order, " Sauranodonta." 
This animal is so closely allied to the Ichthyosauri, that 
their respective vertebrae ribs and other portions of the 
skeleton cannot be distinguished from each other. The 
jaws, however, appear entirely edentulous and destitute of 
even a dentary groove. It is an interesting fact to find 
that this reptile, which bears the same relation to the 
Ichthyosauri as the Pteranodonta do to the Pterodactyls, 
should be found in the same region. 


Momtrum horrendum informe ingens cui dens ademptus. 

Nor ought we to fail to notice here the researches of 
Prof. Seeley on the development of the Ichthyosauri, 
-which seem to show that these immense reptiles were 

Those Geologists who have had the privilege of 
examining the splendid collection of chalk fossils in the 
possession of our member, Mr. Chas. Potter, will not be 
surprised to find that his magnificent specimen of Eda- 
phodon Sedgwicki has "the place of honour" in the 
monograph, by the Assistant-naturalist of the Geological 
Survey, on " The Chimeroid fishes of the British Creta- 
ceous rocks," and to find it there described as the most 
complete Chimeroid at present known. It is only 
necessary to glance over the memoir to see the light 
thrown on the genus by this single specimen, and we 
must all congratulate Mr. Potter on so public an acknow- 
ledgement of his good fortune and perseverance. 

The application of the microscope to Geological 
research has of late been vastly extended. Mr. Sorby 
(the present President of the Geological Society of 
London), in his classic paper read before that Society 
in 1858, "On the Microscopic Structure of Crystals/* 
and in other papers of a similar character, pointed out 
the high importance of this instrument to the working 
Geologist. Prof. Maskelyne, too, in 1861, by the use of 
Polarised light, was enabled to point out some interesting 
facts as to the mineralogical composition of Meteorites. 
But by the labours of Zirkel, Bosenbusch, Allport, 
Bonney, Judd, and others, the most remarkable insight 
has been gained of the structure and composition of 
Igneous and Metamorphic rocks. The late David Forbes, 
who in the course of his extensive travels was perhaps 
the first English Geologist to become acquainted with 


the remarkable development of Micro-Petrography in 
Germany, well remarked, in 1865: — "A microscopic 
examination of the close-grained and more compact 
varieties effects completely that which the naked eye can 
do in the case of the more crystalline and coarser grained 
rocks." (B. Assn. Eeport, 1865.) 

One has only to turn over the pages of the Journal 
of the Geological Society of London for the past four or 
five years to compare the descriptions of rocks with those 
given 20 years since, to realise the fact that a new 
science has grown up in our midst. The valuable 
chemical analyses of any particular rock under discus- 
sion are not omitted, but we now have in addition full 
macroscopic and especially microscopic examinations. 
It would be quite impossible to bring before your notice 

the vast additions to our knowledge of even the Igneous 


group of rocks in the time at our disposal this evening ; 
and I therefore purpose to direct attention for a few 
moments to that great and most important class of rock 
which are known as the Granites. I have chosen these 
rocks as the principal subject of my address, as I 
thought the consideration of the researches of late 
observers and the deductions made therefrom would, 
perhaps, be of greater interest and value than if we took 
a wider field. 

Granite is, as its name implies (derived from granwm 9 
a grain), a rock of granular crystalline composition and 
aspect. The grains may be of small size or large, like 
those described by Th. Scheerer ("Pogg. Annual; 99 lvi, 
p. 489) in Norway, where the three typical minerals 
composing it are in large crystals, the Orthoclase being 
one cubic foot, Mica one square foot in dimensions, and 
the Quartz in still more considerable masses extending 
between them. 

• < 


A few years since the minerals Quartz, Mica, and 
Felspar would be named as those composing Granite. 
Now we have to consider which variety of Felspar is 
meant, and which of the great group 'known as Mica. 
The Felspars of Scotland have been subjected to a close 
examination by Prof. Heddle, and seven distinct varie- 
ties, ranging in per centage of Silica from 69 per cent, 
in Albite to 45 per cent, in Anorthite, are declared to 
exist in the Scottish rocks. The seven are Orthoclase, 
Albite, Oligoclase, Andesine, Anorthite, Labradorite, 
Latrobite. The per centage of Silica in the Micas may 
be considered as being about the same in all. It will thus 
be seen we may have Granites in which, while the pro- 
portion of Quartz and Felspar remain the same, the 
quantity of Silica in the whole may vary considerably, 
and may, in fact, be so little as to throw the rock into 
what is known as the intermediate class. 

David Forbes (Quarterly Journal Geo. Soc, 1872, p. 43) 
says : The Granites which are stanniferous in Cornwall, 
Spain, Peru, Bolivia, Portugal, Malacca and Australia, 
are all identical in composition. They are all composed 
of Orthoclase Felspar; Black or colourless Muscovite, 
Mica, Quartz, and more or less native Gold. 

In my paper, on the mineralogical structure of some 
Cornish Granites (Proc. I/pool Geo. Soc, 1877-79), I 
gave the results of careful examination of eight varieties. 
These Granites have also been closely examined by 
J. A. Phillips, F.G.S., and S. Allport, F.G.S. The 
remarks of these writers on the microscopic cavities, found 
in the Cornish Granites, will appear in the sequel, but 
their remarks as to the minerals may be summarized, that 
in addition to Quartz, Felspar and Mica, Schorl is almost 
always met with, and sometimes as accessories Chlorite, 
Apatite, Cassitterite, Fluor Spar, Beryl, Garnet and Pinite, 


The Granite of the Boss of Mull is by Prof. Haughton, 
described as composed of Quartz (abundant), one Felspar 
(a pink Orthoclase), with a little black Mica. 

A Granite, from New Brunswick, shown by me to this 
Society last year, almost exactly resembles that of Mull.* 

The Granites of the Mourne Mountains, remark- 
able for the crystals of accessory minerals which they 
contain, have Albite in large quantities as their Felspar. 
I had often noticed that those Granites which have 
Albite as one of their Felspars frequently contain a 
large number of accessory minerals, and on inquiry I 
found from my friend Mr. Thos. Davies, F.G.S., of the 
British Museum (one of our best authorities), that in 
his much wider experience he had already noticed this 
interesting fact. 

It has often been surmised by those Geologists who 
hold the Igneous theory as to the formation of Granite 
that many of the rarer elements would be found in this 
group of rocks on their being examined by the spectrum 
analysis. The researches of M. Dieulafait, lately made 
known, prove that out of 139 specimens of Granite, 
Syenite, and Gneiss, examined by this'means, every one 
of them contained that comparatively rare element 
Lithium. I may here state that the mineral spring con- 
taining by far the largest proportion of that element 
occurs just out of the margin of one of the Granite masses 
of Cornwall. Again, in confirmation of these views, 
we notice that remarkable block or Granite described by 
Prof. Heddle, found near the village of Tongue, where 
the crystals of Amazon measuring 15" by 10 ;/ by 8", 
contained among other minerals, Thorite and Orangite, 
two of the rarest to be met on the earth. 

Turning for a moment to that great belt of Granitic 
rocks in the United States of America, which has been 


worked in the field by Clarence King and in the labora- 
tory by Zirkel, we find those of the 40tb parallel divided 
into two groups, the one Ante and the other Post- 
Jurassic, and both are composed of Felspar, Quartz, and 
Mica. The older is characterised by the predominating 
Felspar being Orthoclase and by Lr containing no 
Titanite and no primary specular Iron, while the newer 
contain proportionately a great deal of Plagioclase, also 
Titanite, plates of specular Iron, are generally rich in 
Apatite, and the Quartzes are more often relatively rich 
than relatively poor in fluid inclusions. The presence 
or absence of Titanite had previously been clearly pointed 
out by Clarence King, and used in this district as a 
marked distinction of age. 

The Tourmaline Granite of Monzoni is a well-marked 
Granite of a red colour, made up of Orthoclase of a 
more or less deep pink tint, white or greenish Plagio- 
clase, Grey Quartz, and Biotite. 

The remarkable rock of the Ponza Islands, from 
which such important deductions have been drawn, has 
an ultimate chemical composition identical with that of 
many Granites, its minerals Orthoclase, Oligoclase, or 
Albite, Quartz, Mica, or Hornblende are precisely those 
of ordinary Granites. 

The lavas of the central volcano of the Lipari Islands 
are composed of one or more species of Felspar, Horn- 
blende, or Mica, and some fine Quartz. They are by 
many writers termed Granites. 

The well-known "Quartz Porphyry" of Botzen, 
which was by earlier Geologists regarded as a Granite, 
is composed of Orthoclase with Quartz, while associated 
with it is found a rock (Tschermak's) Quartz Porphyrite, 
in which numerous large grains of Quartz, with smaller 
crystals of Plagioclase, Felspar, and Biotite are embedded 


in a compact dark-coloured base. It is an exact repre- 
sentative among the older rocks — being of Permian age 
— with those remarkable Quartz Andesites or Dacites, 
which we will now briefly describe. 

In the interesting volcanic district of Schemnitz, 
Hungary, is found a series of Granitic rocks, containing 
Quartz, Mica, or Hornblende and Felspar. The quan- 
tity of Quartz is variable, being sometimes a large pro- 
portion, and the predominating Felspar is of the "Basic" 
type — either Labradorite or some variety intermediate 
between it and Andesine. These Dacites, so called from 
their being found in the ancient Dacia, are of the highest 
interest, from the fact of their containing free Quartz 
with Basic Felspars, and thus demonstrating th^, fallacy 
of the idea that the Felspar in a rock containing free 
Quartz must necessarily be Orthoclase. I need only 
refer to that most valuable paper of Prof, Haughton's, 
where on this assumption he proceeds, by "a masterly 
method of mathematical analysis," to calculate the 
proportions of each of the minerals composing the 
Leinster Granite, in proof of the predominance of this 
idea in the minds of our old masters in Petrology. 
Thrice to slay the slain, we may notice that the Dacites 
from the Bihar and BodnsBr ranges in Transylvania, 
described by Dr. Dolter, Banatite from Banat, described 
by Cotta, Tonalite from the Granite mass of Adamello, 
and a rock from the Euganean hills (both of the latter 
being described by Vom Eath) are examples testifying 
to the same fact. The whole of these rocks contain from 
66 to 68 per cent, of Silica. In the words of Professor 
Judd, we may say that every attempt to give Granite a 
purely mineralogical definition has failed, in consequence 
of the variation even in parts of the same mass in its con- 
stituent minerals. The texture of the rock, however, 



appears to afford surer ground on which we may base a 

Before leaving the question of the minerals composing 
Granites, we will for a moment glance at those fluid 
inclusions found in them, and on which so much light 
has been gained in the past few years. I well remember 
the first time I looked at a piece of Granite, from Shap, 
which had been placed under a high power. The cavities 
in the Quartz crystals, partially filled with liquid, had in 
them a small bubble, which seemed to be constantly in 
motion. As described by Zirkel, it seemed a thing of 
life. These cavities in Quartz crystals vary from extreme 
microscopic minuteness to that seen in the large Quartz 
crystal in the British Museum, 1 J- inch long, which 
contains several crystals of Iron Pyrites. 

The Eev. J. Clifton Ward, F.G.S., in his most valu- 
able series of papers on the " Granitic, Granitoid, and 
Associated Bocks of the Lake District," shews that the 
Quartz crystals of the Granites found in that locality 
have an almost infinite number of cavities in them, which 
are partially filled with liquid, the proportion of the 
empty space in the cavity to its whole varying from J in 
the Eskdale Granite to t Vg in that from Skiddaw. J. A. 
Phillips, F.G.S., in his paper on the "Bocks of the 
Mining Districts of Corn wall," says "numerous micro- 
scopical cavities, partially filled with liquid, are observ- 
able in the Quartz of all the Cornish Granites; some, on 
the other hand, are apparently full, while others are 
entirely empty." 

S. Allport, F.G.S., a most careful observer, says (on 
the metamorphic rocks surrounding the Land's End 
mass of Granite), "Fluid cavities are abundant in the 
large masses of Granite, &c." A remarkable example 
occurs in the Granite in contact with the Slate at Mouse- 



hole ; in a single grain of Quartz there are several fluid 
cavities containing active bubbles, three of which exhibit 
•widely different proportions to the size of the cavities. 
There are also not a few cavities which appear to be 
quite filled with a fluid of similar refractive power to 
that containing bubbles. There are also many cavities 
containing cubic crystals in addition to liquid and 
vacuity; these are shown by Mr. Sorby to be either 
sodic or potassic Chloride, and are, no doubt, preserved 
in a saturated solution; the fluid is, therefore, probably 
of a different density from that which there are no such 
crystals. This is also proved by moving the stage of the 
microscope in order to cause the bubble to move from 
one end of a cavity to another, as the motion is compa- 
ratively rapid in some, while it is so sluggish in others 
as to be more like the rise of a bubble in oil than in 

In his remarkable work on "Microscopical Petro- 
graphy/ ' issued by the United States Government as 
one of the series on the Geological Exploration of the 40th 
Parallel, Prof. Zirkel, of Leipsic deals with these inclu- 
sions in a very exhaustive manner. The completeness of 
the examinations may be inferred from the fact that 
more than 2,500 thin sections were studied under the 

I will proceed with a brief description of what seems 
to me to be some of the most interesting of them. 

In the Quartz of a Granite from Clark's Peak is 
found the largest number of fluid inclusions that any 
rock constituent has ever been seen to hold. They con- 
sist of water. The bubbles in the simple inclusions here 
are of unusual mobility and restlessness. This Granite 
also contains a mineral supposed to be Zircon, pierced by 
Apatite prisms. 


In a coarse-grained Granite from Havallah range the 
Quartz grains have liquid inclusions containing most 
beautiful crystals of salt, and sometimes black minute 
microlites. These are so very minute that one cubic 
millimetre of Quartz contains 10,000 of them. They 
cross each other confusedly, often forming a web, or 
diverging from one point in all directions like roots from a 
stump. These are Muscovite. Another Granite from 
same locality contains Quartzes in which every fluid 
inclusion bears a salt cube, many of them even having 
two of these little crystals. 

In a rock from Bawling's Peak, Wyoming, which 
Zirkel calls between a Granite and a Gneiss, the Quartz 
is rich in fluid inclusions, which contain with unusual 
constancy little cubes of Chloride of Sodium, the solution 
being saturated with Chloride of Sodium — in addition to 
the bubble. The spontaneous motion of the bubbles 
here visible prevents any doubt of the liquid nature of 
the surrounding medium. The small cubical crystals in 
the liquid look as if made from glass. Sometimes they 
are rounded off at the corners, and a very fine striation 
occurs here and there on the quadratic forces like on cubes 
of kitchen salt. Zirkel says such inclusions of dissolved 
Chloride of Sodium with included salt cubes have been 
found thus far in the Quartzes of the Zircon Syenite 
from Laurig, Norway; the Diorite from Quenaast, 
Belgium; the Granites of Johann Georgenstadt, Saxony; 
Ding Dong Mine, near Penzance; Trevelyan, near St. 
Ives; the Goatfell, Isle of Arran; the Felsitic porphyry 
(Elvan) from Withiel, Cornwall, and from the western 
coast of Arran; the Post-Liassic Serpentine porphyry, 
Skye; the Propylitic rock from Bonsa Banya, Transyl- 
vania ; and in the Gneissic crystalline slates of the Tros- 
sachs, also in the Nepheline and Calc spar of blocks ejected 


from Vesuvius. In the Granite from Granite Peak the 
Quartzes contain doable inclosures of an unusually large 
size. The innermost fluid is liquid carbonic acid, the 
bubble reappearing by a diminution of the raised tern* 
perature in all neighbouring inclusions of this kind at 
31° cent. It seems probable that the outer boundary of 
this liquid carbonic acid is not a liquid but a solid mass. 
In addition to these double inclusions the Quartzes of 
this Granite envelope also the more common single inclu- 
sions of liquid carbonic aeid, and along with these are 
other cavities filled with a fluid whose bubble does not 
disappear even at the high temperature of 100° cent. 
Without doubt the latter is chiefly water, with, perhaps, 
a small amount of dissolved carbonic acid. 

Liquid inclusions of carbonic acid are at present also 
known in the Quartzes of the Granitic Gneiss of the St. 
Gothard, in the Quartzes of the gray Gneiss from Frie- 
berg, Saxony, and of the Granite from Augrushmore, 
Ireland; in the Topazes of Bio Bolivante, Brazil; in 
some sapphires; in Augites, Olivines, and felspars of 
Basalts from Bhenish Prussia, Wurtemburg, Hesse, and 
in the greenish Apatite from Pfitsch Valley in the Tyrol. 
The paper by H. C. Sorby, F.B.S., " On the Micro- 
scopical Structure of Crystals indicating the Origin of 
Bocks and Minerals/* (see Quarterly Journal Geo. Soc, 
1858, pp. 453-500) cannot be passed over without notice, 
as it has formed the starting point of so many later 
investigations. Mr. S. remarks: "Besides fluid and 
stone cavities, the- Quartzes of Granite contain vapour 
cavities like those in minerals from modern volca- 
noes. On the whole, then, the microscopic structure 
of the minerals in Granite is in every respect analagous 
to that of those formed at great depths and ejected 
from modern volcanoes or that of the Quartz of the 


Trachyte of Ponza, as though Granite had been formed 
tinder similar physical conditions, combining at once 
Igneous fusion, Aqueous solution, and Gaseous subli- 

A consideration of the composition of these fluid 
inclusions appears to lead to the conclusion that there is 
the closest possible relation between Granite and purely 
Igneous rocks; liquid inclusions of carbonic acid being 
found in Basalts and Granites, and of solutions of 
chloride of sodium in Diorites, Felsites, and Granites. 
The presence of water has been thought to militate 
against the idea of the former molten condition of a rock, 
but the remarkable discovery by Zirkel in a Bhyolitic 
breccia from Mullen's gap of "the most perfect fluid 
inclusions with a moveable bubble in each in a glassy 
base " proves that this is not necessarily the case ; so that, 
as Zirkel adds, "the fact that fluid inclusions occur in 
the Quartzes of Granite cannot by any means be used as 
an argument against the igneous origin of this rock." 
The leucites of the lavas from the Capodi Bove, the Sol- 
tafara, &c, also have glass inclusions, which bear, instead 
of the usual interior empty cavity, a liquid in which 
there is a moving bubble. When we look at this minute 
microscopic object found in an obscure rock of the great 
American continent, and when we reflect on the light 
it has thrown on Bock formation, we may well say with 
Sorby, "there is no necessary connection between the 
size of an object and the value of a fact; though the 
objects described are minute, the conclusions to be 
derived from the facts are great." 

• We will now consider the speculations which from 
the examinations of these cavities have been advanced as 
to the probable depth at which Granites have been 
found* Sorby, as you well know, reasoning on the 


premises (1st), thai the cavities were exactly filled with 


fluid at the time the crystals were formed; (2nd), that 
the vacuity was produced by cooling; (3rd), that the 
quartz of the various igneous rocks crystalised at about 
360° c, concludes that the following represent the 
depths at which several Granites and Elvans have been 

Elvans at Gwennap 18,100 ft. 

Do. at Swanpool 53,900 „ 

Granite at St. Austell...: 32,400 „ 

Do. at Ding Dong 63,600,, 

Eecent Veins of Aberdeen Granite 42,000 „ 

Centre of main mass of Aberdeen do 78,000 ,, 

The mean depths of consolidation he estimates to be 
60,000 ft. for the Granites of Cornwall, and 76,000 feet 
for those of the Scottish Highlands. 

The Eev. J. Clifton Ward, proceeding on the same 
assumptions and using E. W. Fox's estimate of increase 
6f heat towards the earth's interior (1° F. for 49 ft.), and 
taking also into consideration the connection of the 
Granite with the surrounding masses of sedimentary or 
volcanic rocks, arrives at some most interesting results. 
He calculated, from an examination in the field, that 
the Skiddaw Granite was formed at a maximum depth of 
80,000 feet, while the pressure indicated by the bubble 
in the fluid cavity is 52,000 ft. The Eskdale Granite 
he estimates from field examination formed under a 
pressure of 22,000 ft., the cavity indicating 42,000 ft. 
while that of Shap he gives at 14,000 ft. and 46,000 ft. 
respectively. The surplus pressure of about 20,000 
ft. in the Skiddaw and Eskdale Granites and 32,000 ft. 
in that of Shap probably acted outwards, and effected 
elevation, contortion, and metamorphiKm. In the case 
of the Sha Granite, from the very large surplus of 



pressure and the nearness to the surface at which it 
consolidated, he thinks it may be taken to represent an 
immature volcanic vent. 

Such are some of the interesting conclusions which 
have been deduced from these remarkable cavities. I will 
now briefly proceed to describe some of the difficulties 
which prevent our entire acceptance of the conclusions. 
In the first place, when we look at the depths at which 
the Elvans at Swanpool and Gwennap are respectively 
formed, or even the Granites at St. Austell and Ding 
Dong, we cannot fail to notice their extreme diver- 
sity. In the case of the Aberdeen Granites the con- 
clusions drawn from the examinations of the bubbles 
confirm those drawn by the field Geologist that the 
centre portion of the mass was probably consolidated 
under the greatest amount of pressure. But in the case 
of the Elvans we find that at Swanpool, which is found 
in the clay state to the south of the Granite mass of the 
Penrhyn district, is said to have been consolidated under 
a greater depth by about thrice that of the Gwennap 
Elvan, which is found in the immediate proximity of the 
Granite, where so many productive mines have been met 
with. These conclusions seemed so inconsistent with one 
another that I could not but consider the evidence was 
somewhere at fault, and an examination of the writings 
of other authorities have compelled me to question alto- 
gether the reliability of any deductions which have been 
drawn from examinations of these fluid cavities as to the 
depth Granites or Elvans have been formed. J. A. 
Phillips says, reasoning from the data on the occurrence 
of full, partially full, and empty cavities : " After a series 
of experiments on this subject, I have arrived at the 
conclusion that any method of determining the relation 
between the cavity and bubbles by measurement must 


necessarily be beset with grave difficulties, and that the 
disappearance of the latter on the application of heat 
must take place at very varying temperatures. Such 
being the case, any calculation based thereon can be 
reliable only within certain limits, and if the presence of i 
full fluid cavites be admitted, for which there is the same 
evidence as for the occurrence of vapour and gas cavities, 
all such calculations must be necessarily fallacious." 
Zirkel says that "the calculation by which the tempera- 
ture at which a rock was formed is deduced from the 
proportion of the bubble to the liquid is so very doubtful 
as to afford no certain data, although it would be other- 
wise of great value to Geologists. Fluid cavities are 
constantly met with in the same crystals in which bubbles 
vary greatly in relative size; large cavities occur con- 
taining small bubbles by the side of small cavities with 
large ones. (" Mikroskopische Beschaffenneit der Mine- 
ralien und Gestein," pp. 45, 46.) 

S. Allport, F.G.S., writing to the same effect as to 
the varying proportion of the bubbles and cavities, and 
also on the impossibility of obtaining accurate measure- 
ments, says he is compelled to differ from Mr. Sorby's 
conclusions, and further adds : "No theory can be obvi- 
ously of any value as to the origin of these cavities 
unless it includes all the facts observed." ("On the 
Metamorphic Bocks surrounding the Land's End Mass 
of Granite." — Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 

Mr. Sorby, in a later paper "On the Consolidation of 
Granite Bocks" (Min. Mag., Nov., 1876), does not seem 
to mention the matter of depth of consolidation, but 
remarks that the very great variation in the relative 
amount of water and liquid carbonic acid in the cavities 
clearly proves that very great changes in the surrounding 


circumstances took place sometimes even during the f 
growth of one single crystal, and there is good reason to ' 
suspect that there may often have been considerable 
variations in temperature and pressure as well as in the 
relative amount of water and gas, 

I It would, perhaps, here be well to notice that there 

are rocks of Granitic structure found, the consolidation 

* or formation of which probably took place comparatively 

near the Earth's surface. For my own part, I see no 
reason why a Granitic rock should not be formed there. 
The Tourmaline Granite of Monzoni, which I had the 
opportunity of inspecting at the British Museum this 
summer, through the kindness of Mr. Davies, is a well- 
marked typical Granite, as before described. It very 
much resembles some that are found in Cornwall. From 
examination in the field this rock is now universally 
regarded as of volcanic origin. Judd, in describing this 
district, says: "Although it cannot be proved that the 
Monzonite rock and Tourmaline Granite actually reached ] 
the surface, yet it is in the highest degree probable that 
they did so. Probably after the manner of many lavas 
(such as the Domites of the Auvergne) they consituted 
very imperfectly liquid masses, which quietly welled 
forth, forming dome-shaped hills, the extension of which 
was accompanied by but little explosive action. They 
certainly could not have formed extensive lava streams, 
nor given rise to any great quantities of Tuffs by explo- 
sive action. Scrope also, in " The Geology and Extinct 
Volcanoes of Central France," speaks of a Granite which 
was not of deep-seated origin. 

We are therefore almost compelled to accept the 
conclusion that while by far the largest proportion of 
our Granites have been formed at great depths and under 
great pressure, there are some, perhaps many, that have 


been formed at a moderate depth, and perhaps even 
reached the surface. The idea that all Granites have 
been formed under 20,000 to 50,000 feet of rock must 
certainly be abandoned. It seems quite possible that 
when the field Geologist feels himself freed from the 
necessity of providing for these pressures, he may have 
some revelations to give us of the relation of some old 
volcanic centres in other districts, like those given by 
Prof. Judd of the old line of volcanoes which once 
existed parallel to the range of tjie present Grampian 

If we now consider the relations of deep-seated 
Granites to the volcanic rocks that have been poured out 
as lava, we shall often be able to trace every gradation 
from the rock which is perfectly crystalline, through rocks 
which have crystals scattered throughout a stony or 
sometimes even glassy base, to one that is throughout 
either slaggy or scoriaceous; and we further find that 
these characters are largely dependent on the depth at 
which the rock has consolidated. It will here be well to 
study some of these relations, and we will in the first 
place take some of those magnificent natural sections 
which are to be met with on the western side of Scotland, 
and which are so graphically described by Judd. 

" Fortunately in some of the mountains of the Island 
of Mull we can trace some very remarkable series of 
such changes of structure, the ultimate composition of 
the rocks being the same. At Beinn Greig, a mountain 
which rises near the western end of Loch Bah to the 
length of 1941 feet, in the deep ravines which divide it 
from Beinn-y-chat and Beinn-a-Gobbhar, is found a 
typical Granite of the hornblendic kind. As we ascend 
the mountain, this Granite is found to pass by insensible 
gradations into a quartziferous Felsite. Still higher the 


rock becomes finely crystalline or granular, the mag- 
nesian and ferruginous materials being apparently no 
longer separately crystallised, but diffused through the 
mass as colouring matters. The porphyritic structure 
is locally displayed by all portions of the mass alike, 
from the coarsest Granite to the finest-grained Felsite." 

The Granite and Felsite of Beinn Greig are traversed 
by innumerable veins. These all appear to be of the 
" contemporaneous' ' class, and to be composed of similar 
materials to those of the mass itself, differing for the 
most part only in the degree of the fineness of grain, 
colour, &c. Usually the rock of the veins is of much 
finer grain, colour, &c. ; and in some analogous cases 
the acid rock passes into the glassy condition, and exists 
as pitchstone veins traversing Granite. 

Lying upon the summit and flanks of the eruptive 
rocks just described are sheets of lava of the highly acid 
variety (Felstones) often highly vesicular, and amygda- 
loidal in structure, which alternate with great masses of 
Ash, Lapillae, and scoriaceous fragments. 

At Beinn Uaig the Granite and Felsite are seen to give 
off great veins, which traverse the masses of felstone 
lava and volcanic agglomerate, producing a very sensible 
degree of alteration in them along the surfaces of con- 
tact ; and further these veins are seen to include masses of 
the traversed rock. which have been caught up in them. 

At Craig Craggen we find the Granites and Felsites 
presenting the same relation to the overlying felstone 
lavas as in the two previous examples. As we trace the 
lavas up the slope of the mountain, the intercalated 
masses of agglomerate are found to become gradually 
thicker until they m constitute the larger portion of the 
mass, though still traversed throughout by lava sheets 
and intersected by innumerable dykes. Associated with 


the agglomerates are numerous ejected blocks. At its 
northern end the whole of the highly Siliceous rocks 
which compose the mass of the mountain, Granite, 
Felsite, Felstone lavas, and Felspathic agglomerates are 
seen to be penetrated indiscriminately by numerous 
intrusive sheets or dykes on the grandest scale, com* 
posed of various forms of Gabbro passing into dolerite 
and Basalt. 

At Beinn More the same relations of the Granites, 
Felsites, Felstone lavas, Felspathic agglomerates, with 
the intersecting dykes of Basalt, &c, can be observed. 

"In fact, by. the study of the rocks of Mull-/ 9 says 
Prof. Judd, "the Geologist is able to verify and illustrate 
every stage of the transformation from scoriae to 

Passing for a moment to the Grampians, we find at 
Beinn Nevis, on its outskirts, Gneiss, Schist, quartzite 
and limestone, and then a great mass of intrusive 
Granite. This central mass is composed of Hornblendic 
Granite, passing by insensible gradations into ordinary 
Granite on the one hand, and into Syenite Granite on 
the other. Ascending the central peak, we find the 
Granite becomes fine-grained, and as we still ascend we 
find the Hornblende and Mica gradually disappearing, 
till in the end the rock becomes a granular felsite of a 
pale red colour, and' often more or less porphyritic in 
structure. At the highest portion of the mountain we 
find dark blue, grey, greenish and purplish felstones; 
and associated with these are enormous masses of vol- 
canic agglomerates, compose^ for the most part of 
angular fragments of all sizes of felspathic materials, 
heaped together in the wildest confusion. A large piece 
of the agglomerate can be seen at South Kensington. 
The Felstones form great sheets, sometimes exhibiting a 


rudely columnar structure, and between them lie enor- 
mous masses of volcanic agglomerate, the whole being 
traversed by innumerable felstone dykes. Careful study 
shows that the underlying Felsites and Granites send off 
veins into the Felstones and agglomerates. 

In the famous Pass of Glencoe we find at its northern 
end the Silurian rocks highly metamorphosed and tra- 
versed by masses of sometimes Hornblendic Granite, but 
more usually of numerous varieties of red Felsite. The 
stratified rocks are overlain by great masses of Felstone, 
and these Felstones are traversed, like the stratified 
rocks on which they rest, by an almost infinite number 
of veins and dykes, composed usually of Felsite. At 
the southern end of the Pass there appear from under- 
neath these altered felstones the felsites passing into 
Granites and enclosing masses of often highly altered 
Lower Silurian strata. 

Judd remarks that both at Beinn Nevis and Beinn 
Uaig, we see the evidence that while felspathic lava 
streams and scoriae were being emptied at the surface, 
masses of molten materials of the same composition 
were intruded below them, and by slow consolidating 
forming those bosses of felsite which pass by insensible 
gradations in their lower and deeper parts into horn- 
blendic and ordinary Granite. 

In the Schemnitz district the Greenstone Trachytes 
pass insensibly into Dacites on the one hand, and into 
the Andesites of the volcanic girdle on the other. The 
same insensible gradations in structure, from one that 
is either scoriaceous or slaggy to that which is purely 
Granitic, can be traced. Hence the Austrian Geologists 
have been led to the conclusion that the Granites and 
Syenites, the Greenstone Trachytes, and the Andesitic 
lavas and tuffs of this remarkable district — the value of 


which in the solution of this Geological problem had 
been surmised with rare prescience by Sir Charles Lyell 
— are all part of the same great eruptive masses, and 
are of contemporaneous date. 

In the volcanic rocks of the Lipari Islands we find 
the most perfect glass, passing by insensible gradations 
into rocks of less strikingly resinous lustre — pitchstone 
or Eetinite — and these, through materials of pearly or 
porcellaneous appearance, into the most perfect stoney 
and crystalline (indeed, almost Granitic) masses. The 
remarkable rock of the Ponza Islands, of the same ulti- 
mate composition as Granite, which seems to belong to 
the same group as the "Nevadite" of Eichtofen, is a 
passage rock from Granite to a true lava of almost 
glassy structure, "Liparite." The basis of the rock has 
a tendency to assume a vitreous condition, notwith- 
standing the occurrence in it of distinct orystals of 
Felspar, Quartz, Mica, and Hornblende (Judd). It is 
interesting to notice here that the Felspar crystals 
abound with cavities filled with stoney matter, while the 
Quartz crystals contain " fluid' ' cavities with air bubbles. 

These examples — and I might also give many from 
my own observations, did time permit — seem to show 
that the relations between Granites and Volcanic rocks, 
as far as structure and chemical composition are con- 
cerned, are of the most intimate character; that, in fact, 
where we meet with a lava of the Acidic variety at the 
surface, we should, on descending into the Earth's interior, 
and following the rock downwards, meet with a Granite. 

Is the converse proposition true ? Are wo to assume 
that near where we meet with masses of Granite the 
volcano at one time belched forth its flames and smoke ; 
that fiery lava streams flowed down the sides of moun- 
Jaias now »o wore ? . . 


What vistas does not this idea bring to our imagina- 
tion, when we look back on the " Gulf of Time " ! Where 
are the old volcanoes of Leinster and of Cornwall? 
Have they not left a wrack behind? 

When we consider the relations of Granitic masses to 
the sedimentary rocks surrounding, we find them in two 
very different characters. Hence the terms Intrusive 
and Metamorphic Granites have of late got into use. 

The Granites of Cornwall are sharply defined where 
junctions of them with the Clay slates are found. At 
Mousehole, Cape Cornwall, and St. Michael's Mount (says 
S. Allport), where good sections are exposed on the 
shore, there is not the slightest indication of a gradation 
from one to the other; the mass of Granite cuts sharply 
through the slates, and has thrown out numerous veins, 
both large and small, which have penetrated them in 
various directions. In all such cases the slates have 
evidently been greatly altered along the line of junction, 
and fragments of them have not unfrequently been torn 
off, and are now enclosed in the Granite. In Cornwall, 
neither examination in the field nor a microscopical 
study of the rocks lends the slightest support to the 
notion that Granite is a metamorphic rock, in any 
proper sense of the term. 

The description already given of the position of the 
Granitic and sedimentary rocks of Western Scotland 
shows that here, too, no gradation can be traced from 
one to the other. 

In the Lake district the Eev. J. C. Ward shows that 
the Skiddaw Granite is also intrusive. Although Mr. 
Ward seems to think Granite may be considered a meta- 
morphic rock, I am inclined to think that the views of 
those Geologists who contend for its purely Igneous 
character, are quite borne out in the case of the Skiddaw 


mass. Commencing from the outside, we first meet, 
says Mr. Ward, with the Skiddaw Slate. " There is a 
complete passage from the unaltered Clay slate, through 
Chiastolite Slate and Spotted Schist, to Mica Schist. 
The junction between the Mica Schist and Granite is 
well defined, and there is no general transition from 
Mica Schist into Gneiss proper, and from Gneiss into 
Granite. On the whole, the evidence seems to be against 
regarding the Granite now exposed as the result of the 
extreme metamorphism of the Skiddaw Slates imme- 
diately surrounding it; but whether it may not have 
resulted from the metamorphism of underlying portions 
of the same mass, is an open question. The great con- 
tortion of the Mica Schist may be in part due to the at 
any rate partially intrusive character of the Granite." 
It is well here to notice that the percentages of Silica 
in the rocks named are — 

Chiastolite Slate 65'725 

Spotted Schist 54-448 

Mica Schist 53*174 

Granite 75*223 

The Clay slate is of variable composition. With regard 
to the Quartz felsite of St. John's Vale, and the Syenitic 
Granite of Buttermere, which lie at the junction of the 
Volcanic and Skiddaw slate series, Mr. W. thinks, from 
their line of strike and by the occurrence enclosed in 
them of bands of slate or volcanic rock, that they 
represent the transition beds between the two series 
metamorphosed in situ. The Eskdale Granite he believes 
to have no direct connection with the volcanic rocks 
surrounding it; and the same views are held with regard 
to the relations of the volcanic rocks associated with the 
Shap Granite. 

It is, however, in Ireland, where the views of General 


Portlock and Sir B. Griffith on the metamorphic origin 
of Granite exerted such influence on subsequent observers, 
that we h,ave the best instances of what may be called 
Metamorphic Granite brought before us. Joseph Nolan, 
in "the Ancient Volcanic District of Slieve Gullion," 
says : — Slieve Gullion, about 1,900 feet high, is mainly 
composed of Plutonic rocks that rise through the slate. 
This Granite is not in the main intrusive, but is rather 
the result of the metamorphism of the Lower Silurian 
sedimentary rocks. The transition from the latter to 
the former may be observed in many places, the Silurian 
rocks becoming indurated, then schistose and slightly 
micaoised, passing into Crystalline Gneiss, which fre- 
quently loses its foliation and passes into Granite. In 
the huge dyke protrusion from the igneous mass of Slieve 
Gullion at the eastern end, its volcanic character can be 
well seen, while at its Western end it can scarcely be 
distinguished from the adjacent Granite. In Tyrone 
County, Mr. Nolan remarks that at Fir Mountain we 
find Micaceous Schists and foliated Gneiss, passing into 
Granite and Syenite. 

In a most valuable paper on the Geology of part of 
County Donegal, Professor A. H. Green, F.G.S., speaking 
of a section to the East of the Quartz rock of Errigal, 
says : — I would wish then to lay stress on the following 
facts. The interstratification with Mica Schists of beds 
of rock which can hardly if at all be distinguished from 
Granite ; the very gradual passage from alternations of 
of Granitic Gneiss and Mica Schists into Granite alone ; 
and the marked traces of bedding, and other signs of 
stratification that appear in the last. Mr. Green con- 
siders we have here an undoubted instance of metamor- 
phic Granite. In the discussion which followed the 
reading of this paper, exception was taken to the section 



Granites of Norway. Sir Charles Lyell says that David 
Forbes had ascertained that the free quartz in trachytes, 
which are known to have flowed as lava, has the same 
specific gravity as the ordinary quartz of Granite. I 
have, however, not been able to alight upon Forbes's 
paper, but I find that G. Jenzsch (Pogg. cxxvi., 497) 
discovered an amorphous form of silica in the porphyry 
of Eegensberg, with specific gravity 2*620; and that the 
mineral Vestan, which is pure silica, occuring in triclinic 
crystals, and which is found in the igneous rocks of Saxony 
and neighbourhood, has also a specific gravity of 2*65, 
or the same as ordinary quartz. The second objection 
urged by Dr. Haughton does not seem to be of any great 
importance, and in fact the reverend Professor does not 
rely very much on it when arriving at the conclusion 
that Granite, though sometimes a Pyrometamorphic, is 
more generally a Hydrometamorphic rock. 

In bringing these various facts and opinions of 
observers and philosophers together, I have endeavoured, 
as far as possible, to give you an unbiassed statement. 
For my own part I believe here, as in almost every path 
of natural science, we are groping our way in a dimly 
lighted road. "More light! more light I" is the cry of 
the philosopher. The following points seem, however, 
to be fairly established : — 

1st. That there are the closest possible relations 
between Granites and purely volcanic, rocks, and that 
every gradation can be shown from the one to the other. 

2nd. That no fact has yet been observed which can 
be used as a conclusive argument against the purely 
Igneous origin of Granite. 

The metamorphic origin of certain Granites seems to 
be as yet an open question. It would appear to me to 
be perfectly possible that originally sedimentary rocks of 



great age, tinder the combined influences of the interior 
heat of the earth, pressure, and water, might assume a 
crystalline structure without being fused, and we thus 
obtain a metamorphic Granite. The examination of the 
great mass of Archaean rocks on the American continent 
may, perhaps, elucidate this question. 

Undoubtedly, however, the larger proportion of the 
Granitic masses which now form part of the earth's 
interior, have been in a state of fusion. How were they 
fused, and from what materials have they been derived ? 
Are we to believe, with Mallet, Thomson, Hopkins, 
and others, in a vastly thickened crust, or are we, with 
others, to think that the increased temperature noticed 
on descending into the earth's interior continues unabated 
till we soon reach a reservoir of material at such a tem- 
perature that, under conditions similar to those which 
obtain at the surface of the earth, would be sufficient to 
melt the most intractable substances ? Is it possible 
astronomical mathematicians have omitted some impor- 
tant factor in the calculations of the "thickened crust?" 
The researches of Prof. Newcombe into Vortex motion 
may well make us cautious in dogmatising too strongly 
with reference to planetary bodies. Whichever theory 
be true we may still respect the believers of both, 
and admire the many points brought forward on either 
side. Our necessarily imperfect knowledge enables our 
imagination to lead us frequently astray! But, after 
all, though the charm and beauty of a theory are only 
secondary matters, we look with almost unabated delight 
to the old writers, albeit we know their scientific conclu- 
sions were sometimes entirely erroneous. We still 
admire the sublime conceptions of Milton as to the 
beginnings of this earth of ours, though convinced of 
their scientific inaccuracy. We still, despite his ignorance 


and had the rock below been an ordinary Granite we 
should have been almost justified, from the evidence, in 
assuming that we have the different stages from a sedi- 
mentary rock to a truly intrusive Granite. But, although 
we know now that the action of a mass of heated rock 
below may so completely change the character and 
appearance of an overlying sedimentary rock, we see 
clearly that even when we seem to have gradations from 
one class of rock to another, it behoves us to exercise the 
greatest caution in drawing deductions therefrom. Is it 
not possible that in those districts of Ireland where we 
hear of the same Granitic mass being at some places 
Intrusive and at others Metamorphic, that we have a 
somewhat similar set of conditions to that at Schut- 
trisberg; only instead of the heated mass below being 
absolutely different from, it is closely allied to that above 
in mineralogical and chemical composition? 

Professor Bamsay says in his " Physical Geology and 
Geography of Great Britain,' ' in one sense Granite is an 
igneous rock ; that is to say, much of it has often been 
completely fused, but in another it is often a metaphoric 
rock, because it is sometimes impossible to draw any 
definite line between Gneiss and Granite. Proceeding 
on the arguments that there is generally a quantity of 
free silica, and that the felspar and mica crystallised 
before the quartz, he arrives at the conclusion that the 
quartz was probably held in partial solution in hot water 
even after crystallisation by segregation of the other 
minerals had begun. After closely examining the works 
of Cotta, Bischoff, and others as to the grounds of the 
assumption that the quartz was always the last mineral 
that crystallised out, and testing the Granites of Cornwall, 
I was led to the conclusion that here at least there were 
Granites of which the quartz was undoubtedly the first 



mineral that crystallised. As I described my views and 
the reasons thereof in my paper read before this Society, 
I will not again weary you with them. It was, I need 
hardly say, with great pleasure that I afterwards read in 
Professor Judd's description of the rocks of the Ponza 
Islands, that he had noticed also other Granites in which 
the quartz was the first mineral to crystallise. 

H. C. Sorby ( Miner ahgical Magazine, Nov., 1876 J, 
reasoning from the remarkable experiments of Gaignard 
de la Tour, suggests that in the cooling down of the 
heated rock the quartz was mainly if not entirely formed 
when the temperature of the rock had fallen just below 
the critical point of water ; that is to say, that it began 
to crystallise as soon as the partially melted mass could 
be exposed to the solvent action of liquid water. The 
anhydrous Felspars crystallising first caught up steam, 
but the quartz liquid water saturated with soluble salts. 

The Eev. Professor Haughton shows that in the 
Felspar Porphyry of Forkhill, County Armagh, and 
Granite of Slieve Corragh, County Down, the quartz first 
crystallised out. This cannot therefore be used as an 
argument against the igneous origin of Granite, and 
Dr. Haughton,* whose papers on the Granite question 
are of the highest possible value, bases his objections to 
this theory principally — 1st. On the specific gravity 
of the quartz in Granite being 2*6, or the same as that 
when this mineral has formed from aqueous solution. 
2nd. To the actual presence of large quantities of water 
in the Mica of the Granites of Leinster, and of minerals 
which rapidly change their character on ignition in the 

* "Dr. Haughton, whose fertile mind seems to have infinite 
resource, has also dealt with the question of the Crystallisation of Fused 
Bocks on the principle of least Paste." See Trans : B. I. Academy, 
Vol. xxvi. All students should read this. * 


given by the author; and Mr. David Forbes mentioned 
that the Granite not only sends out veins into the 
surrounding rock, but also encloses fragments of the 
rocks through which it passes. This latter observation 
is confirmed in a paper by W. Harte, C.E., and also by 
R. H. Scott, M.A. 

With regard to the Granitic and Syenitic rocks of 
Charnwood Forest and its vicinity, which Dr. Holl (in 
the Pre-Cambrian Bocks of Central England. — British 
Association Reports, 1865) seems to think shew traces 
of stratification, I think there can be no doubt, after 
reading the description of the beds of Volcanic Ash, 
Porphyritic Dykes, &c, by later observers, that in this 
district too, we meet with undoubted evidences of volcanic 
activity, and that these Granitic rocks are related to 
those whose volcanic origin is allowed by all. Messrs. 
Hill and Bonney, Quarterly Journal of Geological Society, 
Vol. 84, p. 223 — first pointed out the dyke of Diorite on 
the western side of the Granitic mass of Brazil Wood, 
hard by Mount Sorrel, and Messrs. S. Allport, F.G.S., 
and W. James Harrison, F.G.S., in a most interesting 
paper, show that the Granite is clearly intrusive in the 
Gneiss of Brazil Wood, and the latter rock is probably 
the result of the alteration of Clay slates. In one ex- 
cavation they noticed that the Granitic vein encloses a 
lenticular piece of the metamorphic rock, 8 feet by 2 feet. 
W. J. Harrison, in his Geology of Leicestershire, clearly 
points out that the masses of Syenite, <fec, when traced 
on the surface appear everywhere as rounded bosses or 
knolls, but possessing no definite line of extension or 
strike, which if they truly alternate with the slates they 
should have.- Instead of this they stand everywhere as 
islands in the sea of slate, and have all the appearance 
of having been deeply seated igneous masses exposed by 


denudation. Since this was published, in fact quite 
recently, a microscopic examination of the Leicestershire 
Gneiss was made, and its character was found to be 
similar to that of gneissic rocks observed around large 
masses of Granite; thus affording another example of 
contact metamorphism. Now, we find examination in 
the field has confirmed the generalization. Having, 
fortunately, had some little experience with Mr. Harrison 
in the laboratory and in the field (though in another dis- 
trict) I feel no hesitation in bringing forward his discoveries 
with full confidence of their scientific accuracy. 

A most fortunate example in relation to the action of 
Granitic on Sedimentary rocks is to be seen at Schut- 
trisberg. A crystalline rock, known as Aplite, composed 
of Orthoclase and Quartz, to which Hornblende, Tour- 
maline, and other minerals are sometimes added, occurs 
at the junction of the Syenite and Gneiss. 

"Microscopic and chemical examination alike de- 
monstrate conclusively that Aplite cannot possibly be 
regarded as an intermediate stage between Gneiss and 
Syenite. Of the former it certainly represents the last 
stage of alteration, but with the latter it has absolutely 
nothing in common. It is a rock of far more acid com- 
position, and it contains much free Quartz and Orthoclase 
Felspar; while the igneous masses in contact with it 
have little or no Quartz, and the Felspar is principally 
plagioclase. The particles must have attained the con- 
dition of absolute internal mobility, as shown by the 
nearly perfectly crystalline character of the rock, and 
that as a consequence of this the mass was in a truly 
plastic state, is shown by the fact that it was capable 
of being injected in the form of veins into the fissures of 
the surrounding masses." We have here a most com- 
plete change from Gneiss to Granulite or Semi Granite, 


of Copernicus, love and revere grand old Addison when 
he exclaims, like the true lover of Nature that he was — 

"What though in solemn silence aU 
Move round this dark terrestrial hall, 
What though no real voice nor sound 
Amidst their radiant orhs he found ; 
In reason's ear they all rejoice, 
And utter forth a glorious voice, 
For ever singing as they shine." 


By Charles Ricketts, M.D., F.G.S. 

The Carboniferous Limestone near Skipton. — The 
upper strata of the Carboniferous Limestone are exposed 
in various places along a narrow belt of country, extending 
in an easterly direction from Skipton to nearly as far as 
Bolton Abbey; they form the summit of an anticlinal, 
having each side flanked by Yoredale shales and superin- 
cumbent grits. This succession of hard and soft strata 
has had the greatest effect, not only here, but in other 
parts of Yorkshire and in North Derbyshire, in determin- 
ing the contour of the country;, the hard grits withstand- 
ing an amount of atmospheric disintegration which has 
readily worn away the softer shales, thus forming steep 
escarpments, rising from where the shaly beds pass beneath 
them ; so that, to use the words of Profesor A. H. Green, 
" the base lines of the gritstone beds may often, from some 
commanding height, be sketched in for miles round.* " 

Though the Limestone essentially forms an anticlinal, 
it has also experienced most remarkable contortions, 

* " Memoirs of the Geological Survey." The Geology of North Derby* 
ehire, <&o., page 3. 

bendings, and foldings. Along the canal bank at Skipton 
the beds make numerous but gentle curves; whilst in 
other sections visited — the quarry at the commencement 
of the road to Embsay, the extensive quarries at Haw 
Bank, those near Draughton, and at Hambleton, near 
Bolton Abbey — they form domes, synclinals, and anti- 
clonals, or a series of abrupt crumplings and contortions. 


These contortions, as well as the general anticlinal, 
must have originated in the same lateral pressure. It is 
not improbable they may have occurred as a secondary 
effect of subsidence taking place during the deposition of 
the Carboniferous shales, sandstones, and grits; the 
weight of their accumulation, by pressing downwards the 
crust of the earth, permitted the continued addition of 
fresh materials;* the depression thus induced must as a 

* Daring the meeting of the British Association at Sheffield, Pro- 
fesor P. Martin Duncan, F.S.9., in his address as President of Section 
0., directed attention to "the progressive general subsidence" which 
occurred during the deposition of the Carboniferous strata, especially 
remarking that " the regularity of the subsidence and its amount must 
have kept pace with the thickness of the accumulating deposits." 
References to somewhat similar coincidences of accumulation and sub- 
sidence in other formations are constantly made hy observers in Physical 
Geology; but no English Geologist regards these phenomena as cause 
and effect, though they are fully recognised as such by Americans — by 
Professors James Hall, Dana, Lb Conte, Shaler, and others — while 
Captain C. E. Dutton, of the United States Ordnance Surrey, states that 
aa "few Geologists question that the great masses of sedimentary 


Stone, according to their state, is either eroded deeper at 
the cracks, or the Galcite stands out slightly in relief. 
The surface is also hollowed in small irregular pits, 
similar to those formed by the growth on Limestone of 
moss, or other lowly organised vegetable. Upon this 
surface lies a thin layer or film of carbonaceous matter 
in a bed of yellow clay about an inch thick, covered and 
filled with small fragments of Limestone ; some of these 
fragments are decidedly weathered, others are angular, 
but none had any appearance of recent fracture. In a 
joint, passing downwards through the Limestone bed, a 
similar process of weathering of its sides has taken 
place, and an extension from the Clay bed fills the joint. 
Below this bed several cavities (miniature caverns) have 
been formed in the Limestone at different levels, exposed 
as low as fifteen feet below the eroded surface, and are 
filled with a similar Clay, but it could not be determined 
whether any channels extended to them from the bed of 
Clay above. On submergence taking place Limestone 
was again deposited over the Clay, &c. 

Professor Green states that at the mouth of the 
railway tunnel, near Buxton, the surface of the Lime- 
stone on which the Toadstone rests is very much water- 
worn, and considers that this may be because the top of 
the Limestone was a land surface before the Toadstone 
was deposited.* 

Other examples of such Islands, formed by the 
uplifting of the Carboniferous sea-bottom, are met with 
farther north. Professor John Phillips, in a report on 
the probability of the occurence of Coal near Lancaster 
(1887), referred to the existence of traces of thin beds of 

Coal in the Scar Limestone at Kellet, and near Eirkby 

~— ■— — — — — — — — - - - - - ..-..- . — ^ 

* •• Geology of North Derbyshire," p. 20. 


Lonsdale, but did not mention under what circumstances 
they were formed. Three examples of the occurrence 
of thin beds of coal, lying in a similar manner to this in 
Ashwood Dale, on weathered and eroded surfaces of the 
Carboniferous Limestone, were brought before the notice 
of the Society during the Session of 1877-78, but a 
description of them was not recorded in the Proceedings ; 
^ they occur at Ingleton quarry, in a roadside quarry at 

Hendridden, 4£ miles north-east of Carnforth, and in the 
Silverdale Limestone quarry. 


By T. Mellard Beade, C.E., F.G.S., F.B.I.B.A. 

Since Smith, of Jordanhill, first drew attention to the 
laminated Clays of the Clyde, and, assisted by Edward 
Forbes, established their Glacial characteristics, the 
Clyde basin has been classic ground to Glacial Geologists.* 
When so many eminent and painstaking Scotch Geolo- 
gists have devoted so much attention to the evidences 
existing all over their country of the former prevalence 
of an Arctic climate, I fancy I hear it asked, "What 
can a stranger, after a week or two's examination, have 
new to say on so old a subject?" 

In working out the Drift deposits of the north-west 
of England, I felt strongly that no decision of permanent 
value could be come to without an examination of the 
contiguous deposits in Scotland and those in Ireland. 
The latter I examined last year, and gave you some of 
the results of my investigations, which you thought 


Researches in Newer Pliocene" and " Post-Tertiary Geology." 


into the Yellow Sea in 88° north latitude, so altered its 
course that its waters now pass into the Gulf of Pee-chee- 
lee in 37 £° N.; the two outlets being separated from each 
other by the mountainous district of Shan Tung, or East 
Mountain, and by a distance, measured along the coast 
line, of not less than 640 miles.* This was not the first 
time such a diversion of the course of this great river 
occurred. The effect must be to produce Geological 
changes comparable in magnitude, and to a considerable 
extent in effect, with those which took place subsequent 
to the strictly marine deposit represented by the Car- 
boniferous Limestone. 

Toadstone. — The Volcanic rocks, locally known as 
Toadstone, occur on different horizons; they consist 
generally of Lava flows, and are mostly vesicular ; the 
vesicles being filled with Calcite, or in the upper beds, as 
before remarked, with Calcite and crystals of Quartz. 
The base of these Volcanic rocks was only observed at 
Diamond Hill near Miller's Dale Station, and at the 
junction of Cressbrook Dale with Monsal Dale, both 
probably being on the same horizon. The latter locality 
presented an interesting section consisting of — 

5. Vesicular Lava (Toadstone), 12 feet and upwards. 

4. Calcareous Vesicular Lava, 1 foot. 

8. Light green Ash, 8 inches. 

2. Vesicular Lava (Toadstone), 3 feet. 

1. Calcareous Volcanic Ash and Bombs, 4 inches. 

Upon exposing fragments of the lowest bed (1) 
to the action of acid, it was found that the undis- 
solved portion, amounting to 31 per cent., consists of 


* " Geographical Magazine," April, 1878* 



fine Volcanic ash and small Volcanic bombs. The bed 
above it (2) is similar to the Toadstone generally. The 
fine green Ash (3) contains no calcareous matter. The 
thin bed of Lava (4), when the carbonate ofj Lime has 
been dissolved out by an acid, has an appearance some- 
thing like pumice and differs considerably from beds 
2 and 5, which resemble ordinary Toadstone. No con- 
venient opportunity was afforded of determining the 
thickness of 5. 

The junction of the upper surface of the Toadstone 
with the Limestone can be traced for considerable 
distances on different horizons, and nowhere was any 
change observed affecting the overlying limestone.* 

At the foot of the lofty perpendicular escarpment of 
Rancher Tor, the surface of the Toadstone is irregular, 
and forms hollows into which the limestone, there 
distinctly banded, curves and fills. The evidence is 
therefore sufficient that these Volcanic rocks were formed 
by the eruption of Lava, and sometimes of ashes, over 
the bed of the Carboniferous Sea. 

Low Islands in the Cabboniferous Sea. — At a 
distance of three miles from Buxton, where Deep Dale 
joins Ashwood Dale, one of the beds in a quarry in the 
Lower Limestone has its upper surface whitened, the 
weathering extending for some distance into the rock, 
and is covered with a white powder as well as minute 
sub-angular fragments of Limestone ; casts of Producti 
covered with a carbonaceous film lie upon the surface ; 
shrinkage cracks are abundant, some remaining un- 
closed, whilst others are sealed with Calcite ; they must 
have occurred previous to the weathering, for the Lime- 

* Specimens of Limestone resting on Toadstone, obtained at 
Rancher Tor and on the bafts of the river to the west of Miller's Dale 
Station, afforded a large amount (3 J to 5 per cent.) of sponge spicules, 


necessary consequence of the globular form of the earth 
have squeezed these strata when deep-seated, into a less 
lateral space, causing in them contortions and convolu- 
tions ; inasmuch as the chord of an arc is less than its 

The Caeboniferous Limestone op North Derby- 
shire. — Attention was more particularly directed to the 
difference in the mineral composition of the middle beds 
of the Limestone, compared with the upper. In Miller's 
Dale the former, for a thickness, according to Professor 
Green, of 820 to 900 feet, consist of massive beds 
without the admixture of foreign materials, nor is there 
shale or, as a rule, other substance between the divisions 
of the beds ; the chief exception being the Volcanic rocks 
locally known as Toadstone. Above these, for about 390 
feet (Green), the beds become cherty, the chert some- 
times occurring in the form of concretions and nodules, 
or is interstratified with the Limestone; whilst in some 
localities the fossils have to a great extent had the 
calcareous matter which originally formed the shells 
replaced by silica. At Bakewell the Toadstone, there 
interbedded with the Upper Limestone, has its vesicular 
cavities partially filled with quartz crystals, along with 

A great change must have occurred in the composi- 
tion of the sea- water contained in the great Carboniferous 
Bay of the North- West of England, in which this Lime- 
stone was deposited, to permit the addition cf these 
siliceous materials in an area where no such extraneous 

deposits displace the earth beneath them and subside, surely the 
inverse aspect of the problem is a priori equally palpable ; that those 
regions which have suffered the greatest amount of denudation have 
been elevated most ; thereby assuming the removal of strata as a cause, 
and the uplifting as the effect." (" The Geological History of the Colo- 
rado Biver and Plateaus"— Nature, Jan. 16th, 1879.) 



substance previously existed. As the deposit of the 
Carboniferous Limestone continued to progress, the 
general effect here, in North Wales, and elsewhere, was for 
it to become more impure, for its beds to become thinner ; 
and carbonaceous and other shales were interstratified 
with them, until its termination was determined by the 
overwhelming of the whole area by the mud, the siliceous 
sands and grits, and the beds of coal represented in the 
Yoredales, the Millstone Grit, and the Coal-measures. 

What was the nature of this change, and how was it 
produced? In a communication made to this Society 
during the Session of 1875-76, with the intention of 
illustrating from a consideration of the Carboniferous 
formation the dependence of subsidence of strata upon 
the weight, and that its progress is in accordance with 
the amount of accumulations,* it was suggested that 
the Yoredales and other Upper Carboniferous rocks 
have resulted from the subsidence, which occurred 
during the deposition of the Limestone, persisting 
until a ridge, previously dividing from this area the 
channel of a large river, had sunk below the sea-level 
and allowed the course of the stream to be diverted 
into it, bringing down debris from the disintegration 
of far distant Granitic or Granitoid mountains, in the 
shape of mud, sand, and pebbles, the depression neces- 
sary to allow this deposition still going on in accor- 
dance with the amount of deposition. The chances are 
very great against a phenomenon similar to that here 
supposed occurring amongst the large rivers of the earth, 
even during many generations; but one somewhat like 
it happened in China during 1852-58, whereby the 
Whang Ho, or Yellow Eiver, formerly emptying itself 

* «i 

Bemarks on the Country around the Wrekin," by Charles 
Bicketts, — Froo. Liverpool Geol. Soc., part 2, vol. iii., p. 113, 


worth publishing in the last Transactions of the Society; * 
also I contributed a short paper " On a Section of Drift 
near Ballygally Head" to the Geological Society of 
London. + I merely mention these facts to explain that 
the whole of my contributions on the subject, though 
appearing in detached papers, are really a connected 
series of observations. 

Through the kindness of Mr. David Eobertson, 
F.G.S. — than whom no one has a fuller acquaintance 
with the Glacial deposits of the Clyde — I was supplied 
with information as to the typical localities in which to 
view the sections now exposed. To Mr. Dugald Bell, late 
Secretary to the Glasgow Geological Society, I am also 
indebted for much information and assistance; and, 
lastly, to Mr. Bobert Craig, of Beith, I owe an acquaint- 
ance with some of the most important facts I purpose 
laying before you to-night. 

The Bivers Clyde and Forth traverse, the one in a 
westerly, the other in an easterly direction, strata from 
the Old Bed Sandstone to the Coal-measures, inclusive, 
which strata have been preserved in the midst of much 
older rocks through being let down in a trough by two 
faults, the one extending from the Frith of Clyde to 
Stonehaven, the other from Girvan to Dunbar. As 
shewing how the Geological structure of a country affects 
its inhabitants, it is very striking to a stranger to find 
the principal industries of Scotland confined to this area 
of about 5,000 square miles. 

Upon these rocks rests a covering of a strong unstra- 
tified Boulder-clay, called by the Scotch Geologists 
"Till," of varying thicknesses, in some cases absent 

* " Notes on the Scenery and Geology of Ireland." — Proceedings of 
Liverpool Geological Society, Session 1878-9. 

■f Quarterly Journal of Geological Society, vol. xxxv. ? pp. 679-6§l, 



altogether, but more especially developed in the lower 
part of the river basins; and upon this deposit rests one 
of an entirely different physical constitution, viz., the 
laminated shelly brick clays of the Clyde and Forth. 

It is true that some of the Scotch Geologists con- 
sider that there are two Boulder-clays or Tills, " an upper " 
and "a lower," with "interglacial" beds between; but 
for the purposes of this paper it is better to view the beds 
in the broad division I have given — as, indeed, it is the 
aspect in which they appear to a stranger — and to reserve 
a discussion of those refinements of sub-division until I 
have described the sections I have seen. 

The first section I examined was not far from 
Mr. Bell's house at Lansdowne Crescent, Glasgow. The 
Till here forms a steep ridge, and is considerably above 
the river level. The normal colour of the clay is of a 
blue black, but for about 5 feet below the surface it 
appears to weather of a reddish brown, with blue facings 
on the joints. There were evidently a great number of 
stones in the clay ; but as the hard ones had been picked 
out and broken for macadam, it was not possible to 
arrive at a correct estimate of the actual quantity or 
relative proportions of the stones. Mr. Bell says the 
surface slope is generally to the east gradual, to the west 
steep. The knoll on which the Glasgow University 
stands — a picturesque group of Gothic buildings, in a 
commanding position — is of a similar Till; and these 
knolls, Mr. Bell also says, bear no relation to the rocks 
below. In the University Museum is a very fine collec- 
tion of stones from the Till of the excavations, made by 
Mr. John Young, of the same general character as the 
collection kindly made for me from the Stobcross railway 
cutting on the north shore of the Clyde, 50 feet above 
sea level, by Mr. David Robertson, F.G.S., and Mr. Bell, 



in 1874, a portion of which I exhibit. The contained 
stones are mostly local Carboniferous Sandstones and 
travelled stones from the West Highlands. The travel 
of the Drift, from whatever cause, has here apparently 
been up the Clyde Valley.* 

The next section of Till I examined was on the cricket 
ground near the Deaf and Dumb Institution at Crosshill, 
near Glasgow. The excavations were being made for 
the purpose of dressing off the sides of the knoll smooth. 
The Till was very full of stones, a large proportion being 
West Highland rocks. It is blue black in colour, and 
very hard and intractable, even to the pick. The stones 
varied in size from 3 ft. 6 in. long to small pebbles. 
There were angular, sub-angular; and rounded boulders, 
and smooth water-worn pebbles, as also angular pebbles. 
Many of the stones were striated, but as a rule not so 
intensely as those in our own marine Boulder-clays. 
The largest proportion of the rocks are undoubtedly local 
Carboniferous Sandstones and Limestones. On one 
side of the slope of the knoll lies a patch of clay with 
but few stones in it, somewhat resembling our marine 
clays ; it may be the wash of the hill. At the foot of 
the knoll is a bed of siliceous sand of a rich yellow or 
brown colour, similar to the surface sand about here, 
which I have named "Washed Drift Sand." The fol- 
lowing is the Section. (See Section Sheet, Fig. I.) 


a. Surface soil. 

b. Reddish brown plastic Clay, with few stones. 

c. Brown Clay, with blue facings. 

d. Very stony Till. 

* This is not so remarkable as it seems at first sight. If we examine 
the map, we find that all the lochs opening into the Biver Clyde trend 
to the south-west. Loch Lomond has the same direction. The striations 
I observed were also south-west. The contours of the country evidently 
determined the direction in this case. 

-J * 













-J 5 


5 s 


C * 









■» > c 

5 * 
5 u 


5 5 



The next Section I examined was at Seedshill Quarry, 
Paisley, in the company of Mr. Eobert Craig. 

The surface of the ground is here about 40 feet above 
the level of the river at high water. The surface of the 
rock (dolerite) below the Till is smoothed and striated 
N.W. by W., with, Mr. Craig says, cross striations N.E. 
The Till is very hard, of a purple black colour, and has 
i to be blasted with dynamite ; it contains at the bottom 

many stones of the bed rock, and fully half the Till is 
composed of stones large and small. Upon the Till 
under the surface soil is a bed of reddish brown clay; 
apparently reconstructed from the clay below. At another 
point in the quarry the lower part of the Till is of a 
gravelly nature, and where this occurs Mr. Craig informs 
me the rock beneath is rougher and less striated. 

Mr. Craig then took me to see the brick pits about 
^ Paisley, which are excavated in the laminated fossilife- 

rous clay. Among others we inspected the Victoria Tile 
Works. The total depth to the surface of the Till, upon 
which the bed of brick clay lies, is about 22 feet. The 
shell-bearing bed lies directly upon the Till, and is 
about two feet thick. Above this is about 15 feet of 
brick clay of a dark purple colour, and over this a sur- 
face bed of sand and gravel about five feet thick. The 
brick clay is of a very fine unctuous nature, and has 
shells sparsely distributed through the mass, also boul- 
ders, often with balani upon them, and there are also 
pebbles. These stones are quite isolated objects embedded 
in the clay, which is evidently a deposit of very fine 
argillaceous mud. The shell-bearing beds are avoided 
by the brickmakers as not suitable to their purpose. 

The laminated brick clay evidently rests on an eroded, 
uneven surface of the Till, and is quite of a different 
character to our marine Boulder-clays, which arc much 




more stony and contain more evidences of the prevalence 
of a Glacial climate. This being my first introduction to 
these beds, I was very much interested, although, unfor- 
tunately, it was raining the whole time. 

From Paisley we took the rail to Greenock, and 
examined the excavations of the new Gartsdyke Dock. 
The following is one of the sections on the north side : — 
(See Section Sheet.) 

A. Old Bed Sandstone. 

B. Broken Do. and Bed Sand. 

C. Till. 

D. Shelly band of the laminated clay lying on Bed Sand. 

" Cyprina " plentiful. 

E. Laminated brick clay of a reddish brown hue. 

There was also under the Till at another spot a striated 
surface exposed, direction N.W. and S.E., on a grey 
coloured rock, a member of the Old Eed Sandstone.* 

On the south side of the dock was another section, 
shewing 14 feet of Till resting upon a bed of Eed Sand 
lying on a broken surface of Old Eed Sandstone. The 
Till is harder than our marine clay, but intermediate 
between it and the typical Till. 

The great interest of these sections, to me, lay in the 
fact of the Till lying upon rocks of a nature approaching 
our New Eed, and in finding the phenomenon of the 
Eed Sand — the broken rock between the clay and the 
rock — precisely as we find it about here, while it is 
absent on the glaciated surfaces.! 

* I am informed that tfce Geological Survey has now relegated these 
sandstones to the " Calciferous Slates.*' 

t See Section in Quarterly Journal of Geological Society, vol. xxx., 
pp. 27-28, bed No. 3. — Taking for granted, at the time, that the Scotch 
Till was, as considered by eminent Scotch Geologists, " ground moraine," 
I then thought this Bed Sand was its equivalent. Further on it will be 
seen I have had occasion to change this opinion, and consider the lower 
part, if not all, of the marine Boulder-clay synchronous with the Scotch 


The next locality we visited was Kilmaurs, near Kil- 
marnock, in Ayrshire, celebrated for the discovery, in 
1816, of the remains of the Mammoth and Reindeer, 
which Dr. James Bryce, in 1865, after a careful examin- 
ation of the Woodhill Quarry, where these remains were 
found, concluded had been obtained from a thin bed 
underlying the Till and resting on the Carboniferous 
Sandstone.* The Woodhill Quarry is now closed, but 
there is another open, not far off in the same valley, 
called Greenhill Quarry, and this Mr. Craig kindly took 
me to see. A sketch of the section exposed is given in 
the Lithographed Sheet, Fig. 8. 

A. Carboniferous flagstones (dip about 10° S.) 

B. Do. underclay. 

C. Till, composed largely of underclay. 

D. Hard Till. 

E. Gravel. 

\ .F. Subsoil clay. 

G. Surface soil. 

At a Quarry about 200 yards higher up the valley a 
bed of Sand about 1 foot 6 inches thick occurred, con- 
taining Arctic Shells, similar to those of the Clyde Brick 
Clays, and under it was a bed of Peat, from which Eein- 
deer's horns and Mammoth tusks were taken. The 
Clay is described as a soft Till, and was believed by some 
to be an "upper " Till. This bed of sand with shells Mr. 
Craig says he has proved, by various coal pit sinkings, 
extends parallel to the Eailway as far as Kilmarnock, 
and varies from 2 to 5 feet thick. It is only a narrow 
patch. The Till on the higher levels is 90 feet thick ; 
in the valleys 40 feet. Two fragments of Astarte were 
found in the Till, about 40 feet from the bottom, in one 
of the pit sinkings. 

* " On the occurrence of Beds in the West of Scotland beneath the 
Boulder-clay." — Quarterly Journal of Geological Society, vol. *xi., p. 213, 


There is a bed of sand at Kilmarnock lying on the 
Till, from 20 to 80 feet thick. It contains small stones, 
but no shells.* 

One of the noticeable objects between Paisley and 
Kilmarnock is Kilbirnie Lake, near Beith. It is 90 feet 
deep, and 4£ miles long, by from 1 to 1£ miles wide. 
It is a hollow in the Till, the outlet being over rocks at 
the north end, which accounts for its not being emptied 
by the cutting down of the outlet. 

In sinking some colliery pits at the " Homes of 
Garnock" about from 20 to 80 feet of mud and sand 
supposed to be the bed of an old lake, were passed 
through. The Till in the neighbourhood is from 40 to 
90 feet thick. 

At Beith, some of the glacial phenomena can be well 
studied. There are several quarries in the Carboniferous 
Limestone (worked for limeburning), and Mr. Craig, who 
has been familiar with them from his youth, and is a 
keen and truthful observer, pointed out to me some of 
the more remarkable features. At the Broadstone 
Quarry the upper beds are broken, cut into, and 
dissevered, as shown in the sections, detached pieces of 
rock, evidently displaced, but resting on the bed rock 
underlie the Till which fills up the whole of the 
irregularities, making a smooth surface contour to the 
hill. As well as the detached blocks there are limestone 
boulders, and other boulders and pebbles, in the Till. 
Beforo the Till was laid down, the upper strata of lime- 
stone, coal bands and shale appear as if subjected to 
some disruptive force. 

At the Hill Head Quarry there are striations on the 

* A good deal of detailed Information respecting these beds will be 
found in a paper by Messrs. Young and Craig in the " Transactions of 
the Geological Society of Glasgow, vol. iii., part ii., p. 310." 












Q u 



» 1 

51*! J 
! I » £ J 5 










K* H 5 u 




limestone, below about 7 feet of Till, in a direction N.N.E. 
There are also three bands of chert, ABC, lying irregu- 
larly upon each other (6 to 9 inches apart), which Mr. 
Craig informs me he has traced in another place close to, 
where there are in the aggregate from 12 feet to 15 feet 
of limestone between them. His theory is that the lime- 
stone has been dissolved out by rain water until the 
insoluble chert bands became directly superimposed on 
each other, and that as they show no signs of other 
displacement this must have happened since the Glacial 
period. Upon it he has founded an estimate of Geological 
Time,* which is ingenious and worthy of attention. 

After this examination of the deposits on the west 
side of Scotland, I took the rail to Edinburgh, and had 
the good fortune to see an excellent section of the Till in 
the New Leith Docks. I produce sample, which is more 
like rock than clay. It is of a deep blue-black colour, 
closely packed with stones, many being of dolerite. 
Some of the sandstones and limestones are striated, but 
many of the stones are quite angular, and I noticed that 
they do not lie in any regular position, but many of them 
have their axes vertical, more especially the smaller ones. 
Numbers of the stones are rounded, waterworn, and 
unstriated. The Till is more compact and stony than 
that at Greenock. The materials appear to have been 
principally derived from the Carboniferous rocks.* 

There are brick clays in the neighbourhood similar 
to those of the Clyde, but I saw very little of them. 

The next place I visited was Elie, in Fifeshire, with 

"- . . . .. . i .■ 

* " Geological Magazine, 1878, pp. 479—80. 

* In some borings at Leith the Till was found to descend some 100 
feet below the sea level. See paper " On the Phenomena of the Glacial 
Drift," by A. Geikie. — Trans, of Geo. Soc. of Glasgow, vol, i., part ii., 
p. 42. 



the object of seeing the Arctic shell clays, described by 
the Eev. Thomas Brown.* 

The visit was a decidedly unsatisfactory one, but from 
what I saw and the description given, the beds seem to 
occupy the same Geological postion as the Clyde Beds, 
though the fades of the shells is of a more Arctic 

I followed up one of the burns a long way inland, bnt 
all I could discover was a general mantle of Till overlaid 
near the burn by river alluvium. In places on the road- 
side is to be seen a bed of sand overlying the Till, and 
this seems to be general. Probably it is subaerial. 

St. Andrew's formed my resting-place after these 
little Geological excursions. The only thing bearing upon 
the subject of my paper I noticed there was a raised 
beach, apparently resting upon estuarine mud ; probably 
this may be on the Geological horizon of the raised 
estuarine deposits of the Tay. 

To sum up my conclusions, which I will do very 
briefly, the conviction has been slowly forcing itself upon 
me that there has been a tendency to unnecessarily com- 
plicate these Glacial phenomena — to raise every gravel 
bed into a "formation," orbed of sand into a "period;" 
while "interglacial" episodes are profusely scattered 
through the whole, apparently with the sole object of 
finding out what Mr. Croll theoretically says "must 
have happened." 

Looking at the subject in its broad divisions, the 
conclusion I have come to is that the Scotch Till is the 
Geological equivalent of the lower part, if not the whole, 
of our marine Boulder-clays and sands. That, in fact, as 
the land subsided the materials brought down by glaciers 

were scattered over the sea bottom in distant localities, 

» — 

* Trans. Koyal Soc. of Edinburgh, vol. xxiv., pp. 617-— 633. 


forming our marine Boulder-clays; while nearer their 
source, in front of and probably under the glaciers, 
while in a state of semi-flotation, the unfossiliferous Till 
was formed. This is, in the nature of things, what would 
happen. The stones and heavier materials would be 
shed more profusely near to the land, while the finer 
materials would be taken further out and deposited in 
the sea. 

Immediately on coming back I examined the brick 
pits at Walton Lane Station, and was much struck with 
the justness of this explanation of the phenomena which 
occurred to me when in Scotland. I also observed that 
at Greenock the Till approached more nearly to our 
marine clays, though still " Till." 

I must confess I cannot see my way to the conclu- 
sion so generally prevalent that the Till is wholly subaerial 
and formed under land ice. It seems to me most unphilo- 
sophical first of all to attribute the planeing, grooving, 
smoothing, and striating of the whole surface of the land 
to ice, and then to make the very same agent, without any 
apparent reason for the change, deposit a mass of Till in 
the same places, in many cases over 100 feet and some- 
times reaching 162 feet thick.* It also appears to me 
incomprehensible that all the fine material forming the 
bulk of the clay matrix should remain under land ice hav- 
ing a general drainage to the sea. It is certainly upon 
upholders of this theory that the onus of proof lies, and 
though I have read many books and papers on the 
subject, I have never seen anything more than a general 
statement that there is a "moraine prof onde" answering 
to the Till found under glaciers now. This statement, 
to my knowledge, has never been proved. If, however, 

* " On the Phenomena of the Glacial Drift of Scotland." A. Geikie. 
—Transactions of Geological Society of Glasgow, vol. i., part 2, p. 42. 


we admit (what is probably true) that there first of all 
existed an ice sheet or confluent glacier, extending 
from the mountainous districts of Great Britain to a 
considerable radius around, constituting the agent 
which has produced the smoothings and striations 
we find even in our own comparatively level country, 
we can readily see that as the land subsided (which is 
about the best proved fact in Glacial Geology) the ice 
would, whether in the form of separate or confluent 
glaciers, as it entered the sea, have its weight on the 
bottom diminished in proportion to the depth of the 
water or hydraulic head outside, until, the flotation 
power became sufficient to break off icebergs there- 
from. It is also conceivable that the finer materials of 
the Till might remain in the deposit under the glacier 
while there was a head of water outside and very little 
current. The stones would be deposited and remain in 
greater profusion under the glaciers, and they would 
necessarily be mostly of a local character. 

It will probably be asked, if the Till was mainly formed 
under and in front of the ice, graduating in fact into our 
marine beds,* and therefore below the sea level, how can 

* A very interesting Boulder-clay with broken shells, answering 
exactly to our marine Boulder-clay, was discovered by Mr. Bobert L. 
Jack, F.G.S., in the lower valley of the river Endrick, near Loch 
Lomond, and the Caithness Boulder- clay with broken shells, described 
by Jamieson, is evidently of the same nature. Mr. Jack, after describing 
the shelly Till as resting on the rock, says: — "It is probable that further 
to the south-east the shelly Till may shade into the ' true Old Boulder- 
clay;' and I confess that but for the shelly fragments of the one I 
should be unable to distinguish it from the other. On the other hand, 
it may be that the remains of a * true Old Boulder-clay' will be found 
to underlie the shelly Till; but I have not yet recognised them here. I 
believe, nevertheless, on grounds to be presently stated, that the shelly 
Till has its place above the Old Boulder-clay." — Trans, of the Geol. Soc. 
of Glasgow, toI. v., part i. 


the so-called interglacial beds be explained? I think 
more geological significance has been attached to the 
presence of thin layers of peat and mud, occasionally 
found intercalated in the Till, than the facts themselves 

The bed beneath the Till at Kilmaurs, already men- 
tioned, is classed by some glacialists as an " interglacial" 
bed, on what I cannot but consider very insufficient 
evidence ; similarly those lacustrine beds, occupying 
depressions in the surface of the Till,* are in part classed 
in the same category, and by much the same process of 
reasoning. That there are undoubted cases of peat beds 
with vegetable, organic, and mammalian remains found 
in the Till itself I do not dispute, but they are far from 

The occasional presence of marine shells in the Till 
is readily accounted for, without invoking great changes 
in climatic conditions. If the Till were formed under 
and in front of glaciers, a fluctuating advance or reces- 
sion of the ice, occasioned by seasonal changes or cycles 
of temperature, such as even now obtain in glacial 
countries, would fully explain their occasional presence. 

It is also possible there may have been fluctuations 
in the elevation and depression of the land during the 
long glacial period, instead of one continuous depression 
followed by a continuous elevation ; in fact such fluctua- 
ting movements, as we well know by our own submerged 
forests and estuarine beds, occurred in post-glacial times, t 
A climatic change intervening, of a character insufficient 

* A boring in the valley of the Kelvin, near New Kilpatrick, shewed 
355 feet of superficial deposits. Mr. Bennie, quoted in " The Great Ice 
Age," p. 183. 

f " Post- Glacial Geology of Lancashire and Cheshire." — Proceedings 
of th« Liverpool Geological Society— Session 1871-2. 


to be called "interglacial," would fully account for 
these sporadic beds, with their occasional organic con- 
tents. On the other hand, the preservation of beds of 
peat under the enormous sheet of land ice, demanded 
by the extreme school of glacialists, is a mechanical 
difficulty I wish they would address themselves to. The 
preservation of the vegetable matter and mammalian 
remains at Kilmaurs is readily understood if the marine 
shells occurred above them, as suggested by Mr. Young ; 
in fact it establishes the sequence of events I have 
described. It is also mechanically possible that, when a 
glacier enters the sea, the mass of material accumulating 
under it may tail off and extend under it above the sea 

The laminated brick clays apparently have no 
equivalent in our neighbourhood. It is evident that 
when they were formed there were no glaciers extending 
to the sea level. The stones included may all have been 
readily brought down by river ice. The materials also 
may have been of fluvatile origin, the subaerial and river 
denudation of the land Till would supply abundance of 
the fine material required ; at the same time I am not 
denying, no less than not affirming, the existence of 
glaciers at the time, but I am quite prepared to believe 
the glacial period was fast dying out. 

I have now given you as briefly as I can my impres- 
sions and inferences, and I wish it to be distinctly under- 
stood that I do not presume to dogmatise on the subject — 
there has been too much of that already. A simple 
explanation that covers the conditions of the problem 
always commends itself to my mind in preference to a 
complicated one ; and if I have presumed to differ from 
some of those authorities who have devoted great atten- 
tion to the subject, it is because their reasoning has 


appeared to me to be defective — to be, in too many cases, 
a begging of the whole question. 

The position of the so-called interglacial beds in 
reference to the other deposits of Till where there was 
really no positive evidence, has been too often assumed 
so as to fit into the theory advanced; while the propo- 
sition to which the land-ice theory seems to have drawn 
some of the extreme glacialists, viz., that our marine 
boulder clays have been ploughed out of sea bottoms 
and landed on mountain tops, is too preposterous to 
those who have geologically worked in the deposit, as I 
have, to need serious consideration. 


By E. A. Eskrigge, F.G.S. 

A small cavern on the south-eastern face of the Great 
Ormes Head, overhanging the town of Llandudno, has 
for many years been occupied as a workshop by Mr. 
Kendrick, the lapidary. Some weeks since, desiring to 
enlarge his accommodation, he commenced excavations 
further back into the mountain, and soon found that the 
cavern had formerly extended a much greater distance, 
and was filled up partly by stalactitic accumulations, 
and partly by a Limestone breccia. After working for 
some time in the removal of these materials, certain 
animal remains were found ; and, carefully noting 
their position, Mr. Kendrick continued his excavations 
until below the breccia a stratum of cave earth was 


reached. This earth or clay has so far only been 
penetrated to the depth of 2 or 8 feet, and bones and 
fragments of bones of some large animals have been 
found. The largest bone remains in situ. The frag- 
ments have been submitted to Prof. Boyd Dawkins, who 
has kindly written the accompanying memorandum. 
He declares them to belong to the bison, whose remains 
have frequently been found in similar caves. It is 
almost certain that further excavations will yield more 

The Limestone breccia succeeds to the clay, and 
is from 4 to 6 feet in thickness ; the stones are mostly 
angular, and more or less cemented together by the 
infiltration of water through lime. In this bed about 
1 foot above the clay were found portions of the 
skeletons of four human beings, particulars of which 
are given in Mr. Dawkins* memorandum. The broken 
tibia of one skeleton and the foot of another remain to 
be seen in situ. Associated with these, and on the same 
level, were found two teeth of the brown bear, bearing 
clear marks of human workmanship. They have been 
perforated and apparently used as ornaments. There 
are also two portions of the lower jaws of a horse, with 
most of the teeth entire. One of these is beautifully 
ornamented with a herring-bone pattern. Several 
boulder stones, apparently used as hand hammers, or 
possibly as pot-boilers, and an oyster shell much worn 
on one side, as if used for scraping purposes, were asso- 
ciated therewith. Only a small portion of one human 
skull has yet been found; but a lower jaw with splendid 
molars is in excellent preservation, and lay in close 
proximity to the cervical vertebrae. From 2 or 8 feet 
above the human skeletons were found, still in the Lime- 
3tone rubble, the skull of a badger, a horse's tooth, and 


remains of Bheep, or goat, boar, and Bos longifrons or 
short-horned ox. 

In the bones above the cave earth there is no sign of 
gnawing, nor of their having been split by Carnivors or 
by man in search of marrow. Many of the bones 
in the cave earth itself have been subjected to such 
treatment — most probably, as suggested by Professor 
Dawkins, broken by man himself. The extent of the 
cavern cannot be yet defined; a chimney-like fissure 
extends upwards some 25 or 80 feet. The Limestone 
breccia, at about the same horizon as the human 
remains were found, bears evidence of fire, traces of 
charred wood being embedded in the burnt stone. 
Above the breccia is a mass of stalagmite of irregular 
thickness, containing at different horizons accumulations 
of the bones of bats, mice, etc., probably brought into 
the cave by owls. 

My first impression was that the human inhabit- 
ants of the cave had possibly been killed by the falling 
in of the roof ; but Mr. Dawkins has no doubt, from 
the surrounding circumstances, that it was a place of 
burial. The remains still belong to Mr. Kendrick, of 
Llandudno, but he kindly placed them at the disposal 
of the writer for scientific examination, and the markings 
on the horse's jaw being quite unique in character, it 
is hoped they will be secured for exhibition in some 
museum. It will be seen frdpi Professor Dawkins' notes 
that he considers the human and associated remains 
to be of Neolithic Age.* 

* August 5th. — Further excavations have since been made, resulting 
in the discovery of a few flint flakes, with which the markings on the 
horse's jaw may have been made, and also a number of small teeth 
with holes drilled through them, probably used as a necklace. 



By Pbofessor Boyd Dawkins, F.E.S. 

1. Bemains prom Cave Earth. — The broken bones 
are in a different mineral condition from the rest and 
have probably been broken by the hand of man. They 
consist of fragments of the marrow-containing long 
bones of Bison. They are, I am informed, derived 
from the lowest stratum, and probably belong to the 
Pleistocene age. 

2. The Human Bemains above the Cave Earth. — The 
human remains consist of portions of four skeletons at 
least — three adult and one child — and present a com- 
bination of characters similar to that determined by 
Professor Bush and myself in the skeletons from the 
sepulchral caves at Perthi Chwaren and Bhos-digre, near 
Euthin, and from the chambered tomb of Tyddyn 
Bleidden, near Cefn, St. Asaph. Three out of the four 
femora are strongly carinate, and the fourth is slightly 
so, while the only tibia sent along with them is flattened 
laterally and presents the kind of platycnemism figured 
in my work on cave-hunting, Fig. 52, page 177. 

8. The Stature op the Men Buried. — The two most 
perfect femora measure respectively 17"9 and 17"6 inches, 
which, according to Professor Humphrey's method, would 
imply that the average stature of their adult possessors 
was 5 feet 4*3 inches. 

This small stature is also characteristic of the 
skeletons mentioned above from other burial places in 
Wales, and when taken along with the other characters 
of the bones, shews that the men who buried their dead 
in the cave of the Great Ormes Head, belong to the 
email long-headed Iberic aborigines who possessed 


Europe west of the Rhine and north of the Mediterranean 
in the Neolithic age. 

4. Associated Animals. — The remains of the as- 
sociated animals belonging to the badger, brown-bear, 
Bos longifrons, short-horned ox, sheep or goat, boar, 
and horse, prove that the interment did not take place 
earlier than the Neolithic Age ; while the two pendants 
or ear-drops, made of the right and left upper canines of 
the brown-bear, and the lower jaw of a horse, marked 
with an incised zig-zag or chevron pattern, exhibit a 
phase of culture more general in the Neolithic Age than 

5. The Canines of the Beab. — The upper canines of 
the bear have been obtained from the same head, and 
are ornamented with transverse lines on the fang 
(fig. B), and have the extreme fang perforated for sus- 

FIG. B. 

Miss Ida Thomas, d*h 

pension. Prom the polish on the surface it is evident 
they were worn for some time before they were placed 
with the dead. 

6. Jaws of Hobse, Cut and Ornamented. — The 
remains of horse consist of the front part of the two lower 
jaws, the incisors, symphysis, and the diastema broken 
away in front of the molar series. The outer surface of 
the bone has been scraped by the hand of man in both 
jaws, and in one it is covered with zig-zag lines (see 
fig. A), passing from the alveolar-edge (the edge of the 


na. a. 


]&ss Ida Thomas fyl. 


diastema) on the one side, to the mental foramen on the 
other. In this the outer surface of the incisors is 
polished by friction against some soft substance, and, as 
it appears to me, more so than it would be naturally in 
the mouth of a horse. The use to which these articles 
were put by their possessors is altogether uncertain, 
but they may have been simply ornaments, or perhaps 
had some superstitious value. 

Stones. — The stones found with the human remains 
are derived from the Boulder-clay of the neighbourhood, 
and may have been used as pot-boilers. 

General Conclusion. — The general impression left 
on my mind by the whole series of remains is that the 
interment is of Neolithic age, and that the cave was used 
as a sepulchral vault by a family of small Iberic dwellers 
in the neighbourhood. The discovery is of high interest, 
and it should be followed up without delay. 






A. C. BAMSAT, F.B.S., F.G.S., London. 

JOHN MOBEIS, F.G.S., London. 

S. J. MACKIE, F.G.S., F.S.A., London. 


EDWARD W. BINNEY, F.B.S., F.G.S., Douglas, Isle of Man. 


HENBY HICKS, F.G.S., M.B.C.S.E., London. 

W. KtiHG, D. So., Queen's College, Galway.' 

JOHN W. JUDD, F.B.S., F.G.S., London. 


ABB AH AM, J., Riverham, Grassendale Park. 

87, Bold Street. 
ADDISON, W. H., Deaf and Dumb Institute, Oxford Street. 
ABCHEB, F., B.A., Boundary Cottage, Crosby. 

14, Cook Street. 
BAEBETT, W. S., Winton Lodge, Victoria Boad, Great Crosby. 
•BEASLEY, H., Acre-field House, Woolton. 
♦BOSTOCK, B., 8, Grange Lane, Birkenhead. 
BBAMALL, H., 3, Balmoral Boad. 
BBOWN, C. H., Low- wood, Alexandra-road, Southport. 
*BBOWN, J. CAMPBELL, D. So., F.C.S., 27, Abercromby Square. 
COOGAN, P. M., C.E., 28, Green Lawn, Bock Ferry. 


DA VIES, 0. 9 8, Kinglake Street, Edge HilL 
DAWBARN, W. f Elmswood, Aigburth. 

The Temple, Dale Street. 
DODD, J., 2, Derby Terrace, Rook Ferry. 
DOWEN, Z. T., Bey., 20, Oriel Road, Bootle. 
EDE, J. A., Nant Llanarmon, Mold. 
*t ESKBIGGE, R. A., F.G.S., The Woodland^, New Brighton. 

18, Hackin'B Hey. 
FABERT, C, 3, St. James 9 Mount. 
FITZPATRICK, M., 62, Seel Street. 
FITZPATRICK, J. J., 62, Seel Street. 
FOSTER, E., 7, Newstead Road, Smithdown Lane. 
FOSTER, R. M., 84, Oxford Road, Waterloo. 
GREEN, A., York House, Old Chester Road, Rock Ferry. 

9, Canning Place. 
GRIFFITHS, J., 14, Queen Street, Chester. 
♦HALL, H. F., F.G.S., Green Heys, Grove Road, Wallasey. 

17, Dale Street. 
HANCE, E. W., LL.B., Municipal Offices, Dale Street. 
HATHAWAY, T., C.E., The Mount 4 , Bangor, North Wales. 
•HIGGINS, H. H., Rev., M.A., Rainhill. 
HEWITT, W.. B. So., 67, White Rock Street. 
JACKSON, G. 0., 15, Trafalgar Road, Birkdale, Southport, 
JOHNSON, J. H., F.G.S., 64, Albert Road, Southport. 
JONES, T., Top Lane, Wallasey. 

Orange Court, Castle Street* 
KERSHAW, J., 179, Lord Street, Southport. 
LEA, T., Yale Cottage, Huyton Quarry. 
LEIGH-GREGSON, S., Aigburth Road. 

Slater Court, 5, Castle Street. 
LEWIS) J. T., 131, Park Street. 
LIGHTBODY, J. H., Birohfield, Sefton Drive. 
MACKINTOSH, D., F.G.S., 32, Whitford Road, Higher Tranmere. 
*McCLAY, J. L., Rose Villa, Victoria Road, Oxton. 
•MARRAT, F. P., 21, Kinglake Street. 
MAYER, J., F.S.A., Pennant House, Lower Bebington. 
*MOORE, T. J., C.M.Z.S,L., Newsham Drive, Newsham Park. 

Liverpool Museum. 
•MORGAN, ALFRED 2, Rathbone Terrace, Wellington Road, Wavertree. 

26, North John Street. 
MORTIMER, Captain, Liverpool. 

"fMORTON, G.H., F.G.S., F.R.G.S.I. (Honorary Secretary), 10, Shell 
Road. 122, London Road. 


fMOTT, 0. G., Sunnyside, Cavendish Road, Birkenhead. 

MoMILLAN, A., Conway, North Wales. 

PATERSON, J., Palmyra Street, Warrington. 

PEARSE, W., Wellington Buildings, Chapel Walks. 

Green Bank Farm, Wavertree. 

•fPICTON, J. A., F.S.A., Sandy Knowe, Wavertree. 

4 and 5, Queen Buildings, Bale Street. 
•POTTER, C, 101, Miles Street. 

PEARSON, J. E., Golborne Park, near Newton-le- Willows. 
QUILLIAM, W. H., Rufford Road, Fairfield. 
*fREADE, T. M., C.E., F.G.S., Park Corner, Blundellsands. 

Canning Chambers, 4, South John Street. 
•fRICKETTS, C, M.D., F.G.S., 22, Argyle Street, Birkenhead. 
♦ROBERTS, I., F.G.S., Eennessee, Maghull, Lancashire. 

39, Gardner's Row. 
RICHARDSON, W. A., Holt Hill, Tranmere. 
ROBINSON, J. J., Blundellsands Road, Great Crosby. 
SHONE, W., F.G.S., Upton Park, Chester. 
*SEMMONS, W., 57, Graoeohureh Street, London, E.C. 
STONE, R., Jan., Newton Park, Newton-le-Willows. 
STRONGITHARM, G., 77, Whetstone Lane, Tranmere. 
SPARGO, E., Bangor, North Wales. 
SHERLOCK, 0., 63, South John Street. 
VEEVERS, S., Huyton. 
WILSON, W. H., St. Michael's Hamlet, Aigburth. 

81, Wapping. 
WRIGHT, B.M.,F.R. Hist. Soo., 90, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, 

WARD, T., Northwioh, Cheshire. 
WARD, J. R M 57, Garth Road, Bangor, North Wales. 
YOUNG, H., 12, South Castle Street. 

*Have read Papers before the Society, 
t Contribute annually to the Printing Fund. 



frtipd $$$$$ $«Mjr. 



^DITED BY p. ji. ^ttoi^TON, F.G.S. 

( The Authors having revised their own Papers, are alone responsible 
for the facts and opinions expressed in them.) 





OFFICEES, 1880-1. 



tfice- President. 


Ex- f resident 


fonorarij Treasurer. 


Uonoraro librarian. 


Honorary gecretarg. 











Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. 
Belfast Naturalists' Field Club. 
Birkenhead Free Public Library. 

Do. Literary and Scientific Club. 
British Museum. 
Bristol Naturalists' Society. 
Bodleian Library, Oxford. 
Boston Society of Natural History, U.S. 
Chester Society of Natural Science. 
Dudley and Midland Geological and Scientific Society. 
Epping Forest and County of Essex Naturalists' Field Club. 
Editor of " Geological Becord." 

,, " Geological Magazine." 

„ "Nature." 

„ "Science Gossip." 
Geological Surrey of Belgium. 
Geological Society of Edinburgh. 
Geological Society of Glasgow. 
Geological Surrey of India. 
Geological Society of London. 
Geological Society of Manchester. 
Geological Surrey of the United States. 
Geological and Polytechnic Society of the West Biding of 

Yorkshire, Leeds. 
Geologists' Association, London. 
Glasgow Philosophical Society. 
Hayden, Dr., United States. 
Koninck, L. G. de., Prof., Liege. 





Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. 
Liverpool Athenaeum. 

,, Chemists' Association* 

Free Public Library. 

Geological Association. 

Literary and Philosophical Society. 

Lyceum Library. 

Philomathic Society. 

Polytechnic Society. 
L'Universite Koyal de Norvegc, Christiana. 
Minnesota Academy of Natural Science, Minneapolis, U.S. 
Museum of Practical Geology. 

Orleans County Society of Natural Science, Vermont, U.S. 
Owens College, Manchester. 
Royal Dublin Society. 

Royal Geological* Society of Ireland, Dublin. 
Royal Society, London. 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, U.S. 
Societe Geologique de Belgique, Liege. 
Societe Geologique du Nord, Lille. 
University Library, Cambridge. 
Warwickshire Natural History and Archaeological Society, 

Watford Natural History Society. 


or THE 



OCTOBER 12th, 1880. 

The President, WILLIAM SEMMONS, in the Chair. 

The Officers and Council for the ensuing year were 
elected, and the Treasurer read his Annual Report, 
which had been audited by Mr. Isaac Roberts and Mr. 
Henry Beasley. 

The Anniversary Address was read by the President. 

NOVEMBER 9th, 1880. 

The Vice-President, ISAAC ROBERTS, P.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

Arthur Timmins, C.E., was elected an Ordinary 

The following communications were read : — 

By Charles Ricketts, M.D., F.G.S. 


By G. H. Morton, P.G.S. 


DECEMBER 14th, 1880. 

The President, Dr. J. CAMPBELL BROWN, P.C.S., 
in the Chair. 

The following communication was read : — 


By Francis Archer, B.A. 

JANUARY 11th, 1881. 

T. Mellard Reade, C.E., F.G.S., in the Chair. 

Mrs. Alfred Morgan, Mrs. Isaac Roberts, and Miss 
Morton, were elected Associates. 

The following communication was read : — 



' By G. H. Morton, F.G.S. 

FEBRUARY 8th, 1881. 

The Vice-Presidbnt, ISAAC ROBERTS, F.G.S., in 
the Chair. 

The following communication was read : — 



By T. Mellard Reade, C.E., F.G.S. 


MARCH 8th, 1881. 

The Vice-Pbesident, ISAAC ROBERTS, F.G.S., in 
the Chair. 

The following communications were read : — 



By Isaac Roberts, F.G.S. 


By G. H. Mobtoh, P.G.S. 


By Chables Rioketts, M.D., F.G.S. 




By William Semmons. 

During the past year the "Liverpool Geological Society" 
has attained its majority, and its members must feel 
that any success it has attained has been largely due 
to the indefatigable labours of its Secretary. 

Since last I addressed you from this chair, the 
noble liberality of the citizens of Liverpool has rendered 
the long wished for College of Science an object of near 
approach. I hope we may see the Chair of Geology 
therein associated with the subject of Mineralogy, as 
in the new Science College of Sir Josiah Mason, so that 
practical results may follow from the teaching of this 
branch of Science. 

In that same period, also, the magnificent collection 
of Rocks and Minerals — so imperfectly displayed at the 
British Museum — has been removed to its new home at 
South Kensington. When the 80,000 specimens of 
Rocks it contains, illustrating some of the most brilliant 
and learned of Geological papers — those of Judd, Yon 
Rath, &c. — are fully displayed, the English student of 
Petrography will have such an opportunity of investiga- 
ting the structure of rocks as was never before presented 
to him. Some means will, I hope, be afforded for 
examining the vast series of microscopic sections 
embraced in this truly National collection. 


All readers of the Principles of Geology must have 
noticed with what rare insight into the workings of 
Nature, Lyell describes the difficulties which attend the 
preservation of the remains of Birds, after death, at the 
present day. 

How truly in this respect can we read the Past by 
the Present ! How rarely do we meet with representa- 
tives of the winged tribe in the rocks ! 

Compared with the adjoining class — Beptilia — how 
vast is the contrast in the proportion of extinct with 
living forms ! 

Of late a vast number of Avian remains have been 
found in those remarkable deposits of the Bocky 
Mountains, which, according to Huxley, furnish us with 
remains of animals that give the pedigree of the horse. 

Upwards of 100 individuals of the Bird class are 
represented by fragments in the Yale College collection 
from this district, and the vast gap which formerly 
separated the Avian from the Beptilian class seems to 
be bridged over considerably by the result of these 

Birds with teeth, Hesperornis and Ichthyornis — the 
latter with bi-concave vertebras — are here met with, as 
well as Pteranodonta and Sauranodonta, which represent 
the toothless winged and fish-like Reptiles respectively. 

Wonders crowd upon us, and with such as these we 
hardly need the Archseopteryx to convince us that, hidden 
in the recesses of the rocks, Nature has stored up 
"forms of wondrous shape," which show that in the 
Animal Kingdom there are no ugly gaps or unsightly 
chasms, but that — 

"All are parts of one stupendous whole." 

The light which has .been thrown on the structure of 
the ArchaBopteryx through the further discoveries of this 


group at Solenhofen is most important. After the 
American Cretaceous birds were found to be armed with 
teeth, it was surmised that this curious animal was also 
furnished with them, and this surmise has proved to be 
correct. Prof. Marsh has had such experience with the 
teeth of birds, that he at once identified those found in 
the Solenhofen limestone as belonging to this class. But 
who, only a short time since, would have ventured to 
suggest that a bird was armed with teeth ? 

Such, however, are the marked differences in structure 
between Archaeopteryx, Hesperornis and Iohthyornis, 
that we must look a long way back if we wish to find 
their common ancestor. The Deinosaurians seem to 
be the group required, and it is now pretty generally 
recognised that the most natural way of classifying 
Birds is by comparing the greater or less divergence of 
their skeletons from those of Beptiles. 

The first appearance of Beptiles must be moved 
backward in the Geological Becord, and though Judd 
has shown the Elgin (Beptilian) sandstones are un- 
doubtedly of Triassic age, we can hardly doubt that 
Amphibia, if not Beptilia, lived in Old Bed Sandstone 
times, and walked on the banks of Lakes Orcadie and 

In the past twelve months the "Origin of Species" 
has also attained its majority, and the coming of age 
has been celebrated by Prof. Huxley in one of those 
brilliant essays which mark at once the profound thinker 
and the fearless investigator. 

None can dispute the vast importance of the Biolo- 
gical portion of Geology ; and we have merely to look 
back on the state of Biology when the " Origin of Species " 
appeared, to see how much it owes to the illustrious 
author of this work. To me it seems the key which 


unravels most of the problems which beset us in 
examining the fossil contents of the rocks and their 
relation to living forms. The persistency of some 
animals, and the great variability of others, are 
accounted for in a manner which commends itself by its 
clearness and simplicity. Many difficulties, however, 
prevent the complete acceptance of Darwin's hypothesis, 
and by none have these been more clearly pointed out 
than by Prof. St. George Mivart. 

I consider the task of completing all the intermediate 
forms necessary to show a change from one species to 
another — supposing the theory to be true — to be a 
hopeless one. But why should we expect intermediate 
forms at all ? This very expectation is silent testimony 
to the truth of Darwinism. Do such forms as Ichthyornis 
and the Beptiles in South Africa, described by Owen, 
mean nothing? Are synthetic forms mere monstrosities? 
Judge Grove once asked, "Did the first elephant drop 
from the clouds ?" With our present knowledge of the 
Miocene and Pliocene proboscidians, we may safely infer, 
that if the first elephant had this celestial origin, he 
had animals closely related to himself preceding him in 
this sublunary planet. 

The homage paid by Lyell — perhaps the greatest 
philosophical Geologist — to Darwin, may be taken as 
evidence of the value of the Darwinian theory to the 
Uniformitarian school. 

To Darwin are we also indebted for that beautiful 
theory on the mode of formation of Coral reefs and 
Atolls, which commanded till just lately almost universal 
acceptance. This attempt to connect the Sciences of 
Geology and Biology, through the influence of elevation 
and depression on Coral life, is now opposed by Mr. 
Murray, of the " Challenger,' ' who considers that 


"there are other agencies at work in the tropical oceanic 
regions by which submarine elevations can be built up, 
• • . without calling in the aid of great and general 
subsidences." Prof. Semper also experienced difficulties 
in the application of Darwin's theory to the formation 
of the Felew group of islands. 

These " tombstones of Continents" therefore do not 
mark the site of Continents, says this school. 

Are the main Geological deductions from the results 
of the various deep sea soundings and dredgings to be 
summed up as follows ? 

The fixity of the present deep sea basins from early 
Geological times ! 

The continuity of the Chalk period to our own day ! 

The insignificance of Ocean currents ! 

The upsetting of the Darwinian theory of the forma- 
tion of Coral reefs ! 

The importance of the questions raised by these new 
views to the future of Geology is very great, and I hope 
that the gauntlet so fearlessly thrown down by Mr. T. 
Mellard Beade, F.G.S., may lead to the thorough dis- 
cussion of some of them. 

The interesting discoveries in the physical geography 
of the Bay of Biscay, made during the cruise of the 
" Travailleur," warn us as to dogmatising on too few 
data. Even now, with the 23 dredgings taken in this 
corner of the Atlantic, it is calculated that only one 
ten-thousandth part of the sea bed between Cape Breton 
and Cape Fenas has been examined. An equal scale 
would give about six square miles for England and 
Wales, say a strip of about three-quarters of a mile wide 
across the peninsula of Wirral. Bather a small propor- 
tion to dogmatise on ! If such be the case in a limited 
area, which is considered well worked, how much more 


cautious should we be in drawing conclusions from the 
" Challenger's" soundings. How little can we yet know 
even of the configuration of the sea bottom ! 

Supposing a traveller in a balloon, three miles above 
the surface, passed over the British Isles, and took 
soundings at similar distances to those taken on board 
the " Challenger/' what ideas would he have as to the 
hills and valleys of this country ? Or on the Continent 
of Europe, with more than two-thirds of its surface 
occupied by the great Bussian plain, with the plains 
of Lombardy, Hungary and France in addition ; would 
not our imaginary sounder speak of Europe as a country 
of plains ? Nor would the Siberian plain, or the Prairies, 
Llanoes, and Pampas of America dispel the illusion as 
regards other continents. Is it, then, surprising that 
the Ocean bed was at first looked upon as a level plain, 
and that closer investigation is showing inequalities at 
first unsuspected on its surface ? 

But the inequalities of level are made more manifest 
as the land rises higher and higher above the sea level, 
for then the subaerial denuding agents act with vastly 
increased energy. On the contrary, when the land sub- 
sides, as each elevated portion is brought to the sea level 
it is acted on by marine denudation and the valleys are 
being filled with sediment brought down by rivers. All 
the forces are thus tending during subsidence to reduce 
the bottom of the sea to one uniform level, or what 
might in a sounding of three miles be called level. 
How unlikely, therefore, supposing "Atlantis" existed 
in Miocene times and has since been submerged, that we 
should be able to trace any of its physical features 
except those of the most marked character ! 

It has always been a matter of pride to me to notice 
the part which British Geologists have token in naming 


the various Geological epochs or periods, and to find 
that although this nomenclature was effected in the 
very infancy of our Science, very few changes have been 
made either in the old boundary lines or in the names 
of formations. A rectification of the frontier line between 
Silurian and Cambrian has yet to be effected ; for though 
Murchison's influence, being all powerful, enabled him 
to grasp vast tracts of Cambrian land to get a scientific 
frontier for Siluria, it is now clearly manifest that the 
patient working, grand old Cambridge Professor was 
right in endeavouring to retain his hold of much of his 
territory and the name of Adam Sedgwick will go down 
to posterity as one of the most correct of reasoners, as 
well as one of the greatest of investigators, the science 
of Geology has been benefitted by. 

The Cambrian formation will, therefore, doubtless be 
much extended in future manuals, and already Wood- 
ward has mapped out, in his "Geology of England and- 
Wales," as Cambrian, a large tract of land which in 
Prof. Ramsay's map is coloured Silurian. 

The review of the various formations on the Continent 
of Europe has naturally thrown great light on our 
English beds, and by no Geologist are the relations of 
the Continental beds to our English deposits more clearly 
shown than by our distinguished honorary member, 
Prof. Judd. To him we owe the admission of Neocomian 
into our rock systems, and the Speeton clay of Yorkshire 
has been shown by him to be representative of an 
important series of English and Continental beds. 

Prof. Judd now states that we have the Oligocene 
period represented in the Hempstead, Bembridge, Headon, 
and Brockenhurst series of the Hampshire basin. If 
we adopt this suggestion, we have a series of Marine 
and Freshwater beds, upwards of 800 feet thick, in which 


the marine fauna and terrestrial fauna and flora can 
be clearly identified as the same, as in those vast 
deposits on the continent, which are accepted as Oligocene. 

In the past few years — mainly through the labours of 
Dr. Hicks — a vast intercalation of sedimentary strata 
has been made in the British Isles, between the Cambrian 
Bocks and those which are generally considered to be of 
Laurentian age that are developed along the N.W. 
of Scotland. 

It was well remarked by a President of the London 
Geological Society, some years ago, that the history 
of individual Geologists is the history of Geology. 

Dr. Hicks first showed that in the lowest Cambrian 
numerous forms of life were met with, and that several 
classes of the Animal Kingdom were represented in a 
zone far below the Primordial zone of Barrande. Chas. 
Fox, some years ago, naively remarked, "A few small 
shot dethroned the Primordial Kingdom of Barrande." 
To Dr. Hicks is mainly due the establishment of another 
zone, which completely demolishes the claims of the 
Silurian group to all the rocks at the base of our English 
fossiliferous beds, containing a large number of life forms. 
Must we name this as the Primordial Zone, or is it 
not rather the remnant of a vast range of sedimentary 
strata, in which were entombed the remains of thousands 
of animals that are as yet quite unknown to us? Is not 
the Primordial Zone one of Nature's secrets, like the 
secret of Life which flies before the scalpel's point, 
which is beyond the magic of the chemist's art, and 
which melts away into that impenetrable mist thai* we 
call Infinity ? 

Pebidian and Dimetian beds were first announced as 
claimants for places among the English rock systems, 
and the striking unconformity between them (which 


indicates a lapse of great time) is now partially bridged 
over by the Arvonian. Other workers, such as Prof. 
Hughes, Dr. Callaway, and others, have clearly estab- 
lished the existence of these Pre -Cambrian rocks in various 
parts of England and Wales; so that future manuals 
will undoubtedly incorporate Dimetian, Arvonian, and 
Pebidian rocks in their lists of strata. One or other of 
the group is met with in Pembrokeshire, Carnarvonshire, 
Anglesey, Shropshire, the Malvern Hills, Charnwood 
Forest, &c. 

But now we are told by Dr. Hicks that in Scotland 
too these beds are represented; and, should his recently 
published speculations on the Pre-Cambrian rocks of 
Boss-shire prove to be correct, we shall have to alter our 
readings of the Geological history of this part of our 
Island, for a new series of rocks will have been brought 
to view in this locality. The unfossiliferous nature of 
the beds, and the metamorphism they have undergone, 
being everywhere completely crystalline, prevent the 
adoption of the usual methods of determining the 
age of these beds; but the close connection of their 
lines of strike with those of beds of similar age 
in Wales and England furnishes prima facie evid- 
ence of their being of the same age. Again, the 
mineral character of these beds is appealed to by Dr. 
Hicks in proof of their great age; "minerals being, 
indeed, to the Petrologist what fossils are to the Palaeon- 
tologist." Fortunately, Dr. Hicks has called into requi- 
sition the invaluable knowledge of Mr. Thomas Davies, 
F.G.S., in his penological researches, and consequently 
no doubt can now exist as to the determination of the 

Dr. Hicks's conclusions are that a floor of Pre- 
Cambri&n rocks can be traced along certain lines from 


the West Coast of Scotland to the central mountains of 
Boss-shire; that the physical and mineral characters 
associate them with the Dimetian rocks of Wales ; but 
their thickness is here greater than in any part of Wales, 
and that the main anticlinal axis of the old rocks in the 
neighbourhood probably occurs in the line of Loch 
Maree. He thinks it possible that the Lewisian beds 
are here exposed. Some of Dr. Hicks's conclusions are, 
however, denied by Prof. Bonny, whose acute and 
subtle intellect, combined with vast experience in the 
field and in the study, entitles his views to the utmost 
possible respect. 

Speaking on the subject of the mineral constituents 
of rocks, how instructive will it be if we find that the 
suggestion prove correct that the Wolf Bock, off the 
coast of Cornwall, should prove to be connected with the 
rocks that were crushed and metamorphosed during the 
Oligocene period, and with the volcanic outbursts of this 
age of Fire. Yet the occurrence of Nepheline in the 
Phonolite of this terrible Wolf, which has gnawed up 
many a noble ship in its hungry jaws, lends strong 
support to the idea. 

Whilst so few additions have been made to our 
formations, we find also that all the old names are still 
retained in our nomenclature. The Devonian system 
has certainly had its position assailed with great per- 
sistency, and had it to rely solely for its claim to existence 
on the locality from which it derives its name it 
would have had great difficulty in sustaining it, despite 
Etheridge's efforts. Germany, Bussia, America and 
even the Arctic regions, however, seem to display 
between the Silurian and Carboniferous formations a 
series of beds containing such a distinct fauna that the 
term Devonian must be retained, if we wish to mark the 


series of biological changes that occur in the Evolution 
of Geology. 

The relation of these Marine Devonian beds with 
those called Old Bed Sandstone has been worked out with 
more or less unsatisfactory results by various workers. 
Professor Hull, whose experience as a Geological sur- 
veyor entitles his remarks to great weight, has lately 
attempted to reconcile the difficulties of the situation 
which had been noticed by other observers, and arrives 
at the conclusion that the Lower Old Bed Sandstone of 
Scotland is the lacustrine representative of the Upper- 
most Silurian beds of the English and Welsh borders 
and of the Glengariff beds (ominous name) in Ireland, and 
forms the connecting link between the Silurian and 
Devonian formations. The Upper Old Bed Sandstone 
of Scotland is correlated with the Old Bed Sandstone 
and conglomerate (including the Kiltorcan beds) of the 
South of Ireland and the Upper Devonian Sandstone 
of Pickwell Down. The hiatus between the Upper and 
Lower Old Bed Sandstone of Scotland and between the 
Old Bed Sandstone and Glengariff grits in Ireland is 
filled up in Devonshire by the Middle and Lower 
Devonian formations. The Foreland grits are supposed 
in this case to be the equivalent of the Upper Ludlow 
and Glengariff beds. 

The simplicity of the arrangement is charming, 
and Prof. Hull dilates with ecstasy on the changes in 
the position of land and w^ter which gave rise to these 
conditions. There was a general elevation of all the 
Northern and Western portion of the British Isles, while 
in the South there was continuous depression during the 
Lower Old Bed Sandstone period. With the Upper 
Devonian (Hull's Old Bed Sandstone proper) the 
submersion of the western and northern portions of the 


British Isles began. By a further general subsidence at 
the commencement of the Carboniferous period, the sea 
waters flowed in, establishing themselves over all the 
lower regions. With all these changes dovetailing 
themselves into one another in proper order, it looks 
like ruthless vandalism for even the eager patriotism 
of Irish Geologists to attempt to deny the sequence 

Last year, when speaking of the connection of vol- 
canic rocks with Granites, I asked what had become of 
the ancient volcanoes of Leinster and Cornwall. This 
question has been to a slight degree answered by Frank 
Butley, F.G.S., who has restored an old volcano at 
Brent Tor, and traces from its central flue the beds of 
volcanic ash, &c. We have here lavas, tuffs, and ashes 
interstratified with sediments which are probably of 
Devonian age. If the schistose lavas of Saltash and 
Tavistock are of the same age, we might have here, as 
suggested by Butley, the remains of a very large and 
once continuous flow. 

J. A. Phillips, in a series of interesting papers on the 
" Greenstones* ' of Cornwall, shows that these schistose 
lavas are not unfrequently met with in Cornwall. They 
are generally Gabbros or Dolerites, and are often asso- 
ciated with flows of vesicular lava. Phillips also shows 
they are interbedded with the slates ; but Butley is, I 
believe, the first to prove the relations between the flow 
and the volcano, though perhaps the merit of suggesting 
the idea, as regards Brent Tor, belongs to that dis- 
tinguished man, of whom all English Geologists (and 
particularly Petrologists) are so proud — Sir Henry de la 
Beche — who, in the days when microscopical sections 
were unknown, seemed to have an intuitive perception 
as to the difference between lavas and the metamorphic 


schists. I need not add that this is by no means an 
easy matter in our days of advanced Penological know- 

The workers in Microscopical Petrography have by 
no means been idle in the past twelve months, and the 
insight gained into the changes in the internal structure 
of rocks is very great indeed. One point, however, 
should never be forgotten when a description of the 
microscopic structure of a rock is given. The section is 
necessarily of a small size, and without a considerable 
number of them are taken and the rock is of a very 
uniform character throughout, very incorrect conclusions 
as to the mass may be formed. 

I have particularly been struck with this idea whilst 
noticing the Granite blocks which form the pavement of 
London Bridge. The blocks are generally about 9 by 8 
feet, and have been polished to a smooth surface by the 
feet of the countless thousands who have passed over 
them. Here we have fine-grained Granites which seem 
a mass of imperfectly formed crystals of Quartz and 
Felspar, Granites of ordinary character, and others 
which have large porphyritic crystals of Felspar three or 
four inches in length, and seemingly — if we may judge 
from their section — perfectly formed. The particular 
point to which I wish to call attention is that in some of 
the blocks we have a portion quite porphyritic in char- 
acter, whilst the other portion is quite fine grained. 
Again, we sometimes meet with nests of crystals, say in 
a rude circular piece of about one foot in diameter, the 
remainder of the stone not having this character. Per- 
haps in another case we meet jvith two, or even only one 
crystal of Felspar, standing out, of a white colour, and 
measuring two inches long, in a mass of finely-grained 
dark grey stone. 


It ie quite evident that where such great changes of 
structure are met with in such a small space we should 
find where Granitic rocks have been examined micro 
soopially a vast divergence in the slides of different 
observers. The same remarks will apply more or less 
to sections of other rocks ; but perhaps more particularly 
to those of the Igneous group. 

Daubree, some years ago, called attention to the 
analogy of the Lherzolite rock of the Pyrenees to the 
rocks composing some of those other worlds that have 
fallen on the surface of this planet. Von Lasaulx has 
shown how closely allied to Lherzolite are the Olivine 
bombs which are met with in some basalts. We are 
thus naturally led to the consideration of the large 
masses of what was called Meteoric Iron, which, weighing 
from 1 kilo to 21,000 kilos, have been found on the sea 
shore at Ovifak, in the Isle of Disco. These masses are 
found amongst rounded blocks of Granite and Gneiss at 
the foot of a basaltic cliff. In a dyke of Basalt, about 
20 yards from the largest block, were found several 
lenticular masses of Nickeliferous Iron, which resembled 
Meteoric Iron in composition, and in the resistance 
which they offered to the action of the atmosphere. 
The first examination of these immense masses 
naturally led observers to consider them as of extra 
terrestrial origin, and some were brought back to Europe 
and exhibited in various museums as Meteorites. 
It was, however, early noticed that the Island of 
Disco consisted of beds of the Miocene formation resting 
on beds of Gneiss, and that these Miocene beds contained 
many layers of Lignite and Fossil plants, which are 
traversed by beds and dykes of Basalt. Further, it was 
noted that the carbonaceous matter in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the Basalt was converted into 


Graphite, and that the Basalt contained metallic 
iron in large elliptical masses, in small balls and 
fine particles, and sometimes in the form of small veins. 
Still the occurrence of Native Iron as a constituent 
of terrestrial rocks was considered so rare that, notwith- 
standing twenty masses were met with in a space of 100 
square yards, they were looked on as portions of other 
worlds, and Tschermak, in accounting for their presence 
in the dolerites of the locality, supposed they fell into 
the Basalt whilst it was still in a state of fusion. He 
classed them as Meteorites, consisting of Eukrite 
(Anorthite and Augite), Metallic Iron, and Troilite. 

Daubree, by fusing Basalt and Lherzolite in a cru- 
cible lined with charcoal, obtained metallic Iron, anala- 
gous to that of Ovifak in appearance and chemical compo- 
sition. The combined labours of geologists and chemists 
in the past year or so have, therefore, caused us to no 
longer recognise these large blocks as extra terrestrial 
rocks, but our interest in them is none the less, as it 
seems probable they represent portions of the heavy 
materials comprising the crust of the Earth which have 
been floated up from below. 

Considerable interest, consequently, attaches to the 
Igneous rocks which belong to the Olivine Enstatite group ; 
and this is not lessened by finding that a rock of similar 
composition forms the matrix of the diamond in the 
South African fields. Enstatite, a mineral with a 
brilliant lustre, seemed to be one of those which, though 
found in small crystals embedded in the rock, was 
hardly known in an isolated position. In the past 
few months enormous crystals about 12 inches long 
have been brought over here from Balme, in Norway, 
so that one can now point to a substantial piece in 
our museum at Jermyn Street, as representative of the 


mineral, instead of picking out little lustrous fragments 
scattered throughout a matrix. We notice the outer 
portions of these large Enstatite crystals decompose 
into Steatite, which is confirmatory of their close con- 
nection with the Serpentine rocks. 

The close analogy between the Terrestrial and extra 
Terrestrial rocks " can scarcely be more clearly shown 
than in the fact that a group of rocks which was for 
several years supposed to belong to the one, is now 
found to belong to the other ; it now does not surprise 
us to learn that among the lavas of Ireland are found 
rocks precisely similar to that of the Meteorite, which 
fell on July 14th, 1845, in the Commune du Teilleul 
Manche, which belong to Rose's group of Eukrites. 

The interest naturally associated with the connec- 
tion of the Lherzolite with extra Terrestrial rocks has 
probably been the means of our at last being able to 
trace the origin of that curious class of rocks called 
Serpentine, of which such magnificent cliff sections 
are to be met with at the Lizard Point in Cornwall. 
Serpentine has almost always (since any attempt to 
classify rocks was made) been regarded as a metamor- 
phic rock, and Cotta says it has been formed from 
Gabbro, Granite, Gneiss, or an Eklogite rock in the 
Gneiss, and from Chlorite Schist. Jukes considered 
many Serpentines are metamorphosed magnesian lime- 
stones. To the indefatigable labours of Prof. Bonney 
is due the solving of the problem in most of the 
Serpentine rocks exposed in Western Europe. Bonney 
shows that many of the Serpentine masses are intrusive, 
and that in the case of this rock at the Lizard, 
Ayrshire, Portsoy, N. Wales, the Island of Elba, and 
the Ligurian Appenines, it is an altered Olivine rock 
of Igneous origin. 


Microscopical examination shows in many cases every 
gradation from an unaltered piece of Olivine to one that 
is completely changed to Serpentine. As bearing on 
this subject, one must notice those fine pseudomorphic 
crystals of Serpentine after Olivine in the British 
Museum, where every trace of the original mineral is 
obliterated. If the Olivine crystal has thus been changed 
into Serpentine, and the imperfectly formed crystals in 
the rock are more or less changed into the same sub- 
stance, nothing seems clearer than that the rock masses 
have been changed from one class of rock to the other. 
Serpentine being thus transferred to the Igneous group 
of rocks, its intrusive character follows as a natural 

It is probable some other term will be adopted for 
those rocks which have somewhat the appearance of 
Serpentine, but not its composition, and the term 
Serpentine retained only for those rocks in which the 
ground mass consists almost entirely of Hydrous Silicate 
of Magnesia, with some Oxide of Iron. 

An important series of microscopical observations 
have been made by C. Le Neve Poster and J. H. Collins 
on the vein-stones of the Tin lodes of Cornwall and the 
rocks in which they are found. The pseudomorphic 
crystals of Cassiterite (oxide of Tin) after Orthoclase 
Felspar are well known to Mineralogists. Collins says 
* it also occurs pseudomorphic after Quartz, and this is 

confirmed by Foster ; and I can now, after seeing the 
collection of the late W. M. Tweedy, unhesitatingly 
state this to be the case. The microscope shows that 
the Tin-stones merge into the Tin capels, the capels 
being merely a Tin-stone which does not contain enough 
Tin to pay for working. These capels are sometimes 
Granitic and sometimes schistose in their character, and 



represent modifications of the Granites and Clay-slates 
of the district* 

The Granitic capels are shown on very strong 
evidence to be Granite rocks altered en masse, the Felspar 
mostly changed to Quartz, and the Mica to Schist and 
Chlorite. In almost every case Tourmaline is present. 
The schistose capels also contain Tourmaline, in 
some cases in large quantities, and Collins says the final 
products of the cycle of changes in these rocks are the 
acicular crystals of Tourmaline, which are often met 
with. Foster, writing on the Great Flat Lode south of 
Bedruth and Camborne, shows that this lode at the 
junction of the Clay-slate (Killas) and Granite, has the 
one rock on one side, and the other on the other side. 
Further, he adds, there is no line of demarcation 
between the Granite and the lode, the passage being 
quite gradual; nor is there any line of demarcation 
between the killas and the capel. These facts, says 
Foster, point to the idea that the lode and capel are 
merely altered rocks, and that the fissure now occupied 
by the leader (the richest part of the lode) served to 
bring up vapours or solutions capable of entirely 
changing the rocks on both sides of it. A hint is given 
that at one place the position of the pipe, up which these 
Vapours or solutions came, has been discovered. At 
South Wendron Mine an oval pipe, varying from 20 to 
60 feet in length, and about 10 feet wide, is met with, 
composed of Tinstone, Quartz, and Tourmaline. This 
passes on all sides into Granite, and the percentage of 
Tin-stone decreases as we recede from the main leader. 

Dr. Foster, who from his position as Inspector of 
Metallic Mines, had exceptional opportunities for making 
observations, considered that last year it was probable 
one half the Tin ore raised in Cornwall was obtained from 


masses of Stanniferous Granite. The occurrence of Tour- 
maline is primd facie evidence of alteration. This idea 
was held by Sir H. de la Beche, and M. Pisani. Bonney 
shows that in Luxullianite the Tourmaline has been 
derived from the Felspar of Granite. The composition 
of Tourmaline, with its analogy to the heated emana- 
tions from volcanic districts, lends support to the 
connection with a highly heated source. 

In connection with this subject of Tin deposits, I 
would like to place on record in the Proceedings of this 
Society my conviction that deposits of Gold will be met 
with in the deep workings of the Cornish Tin mines. 
I cannot believe that the association of Native Gold 
and Cassiterite in alluvial deposits is a mere accident. 

"With what interest must we all follow Sorby in his 
examinations of limestone rocks, when we see how 
beautifully Nature reveals herself to us in the varied effects 

i on light when passed through crystals belonging to the 

different systems of crystallographers. As is well known 
to you all, Carbonate of Lime crystallizes in two forms : 
in the forms belonging to the Rhombohedral system it 
is known as the Mineral Calcite, and in those belonging 
to the Prismatic system as Arragonite. The Polarising 
of Light, by means of apparatus easily attached to an 
ordinary microscope, enables us without difficulty to 
determine which of the two minerals we are dealing with. 

► Mr. Sorby, following in the footsteps of other observers, 

shows how in the various Mollusca and other invertebrate 
animals, sometimes one and sometimes the other of 
these minerals is met with. As Calcite is a very stable 
form and Arragonite a very unstable form of the com- 
pound, we should naturally assume that those organisms 
which are composed of Calcite would be the more fre- 
quently met with. Not only is this the case, but in those 


instances where an organism is partly composed of each 
mineral we find the Arragonite portion has been dis- 
solved out, and the Calcite portion remains behind. 
The E chin o derm at a, being of Calcite, seem to be 
wonderfully preserved, even to the minutest spines of 
Sea Urchins. One must pause to wonder at the miracu- 
lous play of the animal forces in the formation of these 
spines, if, as Sorby (confirming other observers) says, 
they are each composed of a single crystal of Calcite, 
having its principal axis, in the direction of the greatest 
length of the spine. In this case the animal seems 
merely to be endowed with the power of modifying the 
crystallising forces to a slight extent. The hand of the 
moulder is only competent to modify even the external 
shape to a small degree. Silently but irresistibly does 
molecule form upon molecule, according to the unerring 
law which builds up the flowers of the Mineral Kingdom. 
In other organisms we seem to have proof that the 
crystallising forces have but little power against the 
life energies. 

It is in such cases as these we see the meeting of the 
Organic and Inorganic forces of Nature, and the wide diver- 
gences of opinion in most competent observers, who have 
closely examined with the microscope, afford proof, if 
any were needed, that we ar£ as yet unable to form 
a judgment as to their relative powers. 

For a complete account of Mr. Sorby's researches, 
I would refer to his Presidential Address to the London 
Geological Society last year. They point to the great 
part played by Encrinites in building up the masses of 
finely grained Palaeozoic rocks, and to the influence of 
chemical deposits in our Oolitic rocks, whilst in our 
Tertiary beds Freshwater Arragonite Mollusca form no 
inconsiderable part. 


The Microscope does not, however, with all the 
wonderful insight it gives us into minute structure, yet 
tell us how Dolomite has been formed, and this rock 
remains, as in the past, one whose origin remains 
obscure. We should like to have known if any confir- 
mation of Sterry Hunt's views could be obtained by this 
new method of research. The physical theories of Prof. 
Ramsay certainly accord with Sterry Hunt's chemical 
theories hereon, and it is at least satisfactory to know 
that there is no evidence to the contrary from microscopic 

My distinguished predecessor in the Geological Chair, 
at the Liverpool School of Science, the late Dr. 
Birkenhead, F.G.S., delivered in 1862 a valuable address 
on Micro-Geology, before the Historic Society of Lanca- 
shire and Cheshire, which contains all that was known 
up to that date. Sorby's researches into the characters 
of the igneous rocks were then only just made public, 
and the whole of the microscopic work, we may say, 
consisted in the determination of the minute organisms 
composing some of our sedimentary rocks, and the 
constituents in a less degree of others. "I have no 
desire," says Dr. Birkenhead, "to exalt Microscopio 
Geology to the dignity of a separate science." In these 
days it is rather difficult to define a separate science ; but 
I think I have shown by the various researches I have 
brought before you in this address, and my address from 
this chair last year, that Micro-Geology holds quite as 
important a position as some so-called separate sciences. 

In Geology, however, we have to deal not only with 
the microscopic and molecular condition of rocks, with 
action and reaction on a small scale; we have to 
chronicle the greatest efforts of Nature; we have to 
deal with a grand philosophy. 


The landslip at Naini Tal tells us that the days of 
Cataclysmal Geology are not yet over. Accumulated 
energy still occasionally asserts its existence now, as in 
the past; and the same forces that did Geological work 
in Cambrian times are yet active. Prof* Bamsay, indeed, 
seems to think that the average intensity of Geological 
agents over the whole globe is about the same now as in 
the remotest past we can trace back to in the Geological 
evolution of our planet. Frost and Snow, Bain and 
Bivers, Volcano and Earthquake, Landslip and Ava- 
lanche — yea, even the Lightning flash — all have left their 
mark behind. Yet how differently do the Cataclysmal 
and Uniformitarian aspects of Geology strike our senses ! 
Take, for example, the single instance calculated by one 
of our greatest living Geologists — that the great well at 
Bath has since the Boman occupation carried silently 
away in solution from the Earth's interior about the 
same quantity of solid matter as was erupted in a few 
days when Monte Nuovo was formed. Who but a 
Geologist could have believed this possible? Prof. 
Huxley, in his Presidential Address to the Geological 
Society, showed that the Uniformity of Nature was not 
incompatible with Cataclysms. 

We must remember that it is the silent uplifting of 
the simple molecule of vapour which enables the deluges 
of India to be formed, and the mighty rhythm of the 
Niagara Falls is but another manifestation of the same 
force. So, likewise, the waves on the sea shore, sweeping 
away with a scythe-like action the frowning cliffs, and 
the energetic island streams, carving out the dale and 
valley, are but illustrations of the power of that gentle 
warmth that causes the grateful flower to breathe out 
its fragrance, and the noble tree to bear its graceful 
foliage. Thus we see that the pent up, or rather stored 







up, Uniformitarian agents give rise to the most striking 
of Cataclysms. In the Biological portion of Geology we 
find all the changes are of a gradual nature. Mollusc, 
Amphibian, Eeptile, Bird, and Mammal, follow each 
other in succession, and the tendency of discoveries 
seems, in my opinion, to point to modification and 
divergence from synthetic forms. 

From what have these animals sprung? Nay, 
further, we involuntarily ask from what has our earth 
been derived, and to what is it tending. A darkness, 
as of space, is around us, and Geology is no longer our 
guide in seeking our " whence and whither." 


By Charles Ricketts, M.D., F.G.S. 

In North Lancashire and the neighbouring border of 
Yorkshire, large boulders of such hard rock as Car- 
boniferous Limestone and Silurian Grit are frequently 
met with; of these some are split entirely through, 
having the fractured portions remaining in exact apposi- 
tion; or the different fragments are separated by a 
short space, but lie in such a position that they can 
be readily and certainly determined as having originally 
formed one block. 

In the Reports of the British Association on the 
erratic blocks of England and Wales, very slight refer- 
ence is made to any which have been split, two examples 
only being given.* The late Professor David Page, in 
"Chips and Chapters for Geologists,' ' has alluded to 

* Reports for 1878-9. 

f Quart, Jouru. Geol. Soc, vol xviii., p. 162, 


such boulders formed of Granite, Porphyry, Greenstone, 
Limestone, and Sandstone, in blocks of all sizes, from 
one to one hundred tons. He considered the explanation 
given either by Mr. Smith, of Jordanhill (see Fig. 1), 
that they had fallen from a height at the termination of 
glaciers, t or of Mr. McLaren, that they had fallen from 
high and wasting cliffs, may in some instances be suffi- 
cient to cause the fracture; but was himself inclined to 
refer their condition to the impact of an ice-mass, in 
which as a glacier or ice-berg the block was imbedded, 
coming forcibly in contact with a submarine ledge. Each 
of these hypotheses supposes a concussion so sudden 
and severe as to fracture the rock. Under such circum- 
stances some signs of the point of impact might be 
expected to be discovered, and it is most improbable that 
the fragments would remain as they do in almost exact 
contact; or, if they had been imbedded in glaciers or 
ice-bergs, they would be removed to the distance of a 
few inches only, being such as would probably occur by 
falling from each other at the time of their complete 

Besting on the Carboniferous Limestone of Warton 
Crag, near Carnforth, Lancashire, are many isolated 
blocks of limestone, probably derived from the immediate 
neighbourhood; those designated the " Three Breeders " 
being the largest. Many erratics of Silurian rocks are 
scattered over the fell, and occur in moraine accumu- 
lations, and blocks of Shap Granite and other Porphyries 
have been disclosed in a moraine at Tealand. So that 
the boulders on Warton Crag and at Tealand may be 
referred to any locality south of the Wast Dale Head 
range, where such rocks occur. 

Many of the limestone boulders are deeply fissured, 
as if the act of splitting is still in progress, the indenta- 


tions being so weathered out that mosses, ferns, grasses, 
and even small shrubs grow in the interstices. Several 
have been split through into two or many pieces, the 
fragments remaining near together, separated to such 
an extent only, as the impetus from the fall upon the act 
of separation might, and probably did occasion; they 
can certainly be determined as originally belonging to 
the same block. One situated above the village of 
Yealand, a few score of yards to the north of the 
summer-house, which has been fractured into many 
pieces, is considered by the residents to have been struck 
by lightning. (Fig 2.) 

Over a surface of country extending from Morecambe 
Bay to the eastern flanks of Bibblesdale are an abund- 
ance of blocks of Silurian Grit, locally known as 
" Calliard," of all sizes from that of a pebble to large 
boulders twelve feet or more across, but especially 
observed lying on the lower beds of Carboniferous Lime- 
stone, and on the Silurian strata on which these rest. 
The valleys in this district extend in a direction from 
north to south, and in each, Silurian strata are exposed 
somewhere to the northward of where the blocks are 
lying. They are in greatest abundance on the flanks of 
the valleys, a short distance southward of the locality 
whence the blocks have been derived, being often 
perched on the limestone at a higher elevation than the 
places where similar rocks in situ are overlaid by hori- 
zontal beds of Carboniferous Limestone. 

It may be remarked that the beds of the different 
brooks or "becks," appear to have been excavated to 
about their present depth, prior to the formation of 
glaciers in their respective valleys ; for the remains of 
canon-like gorges occasionally occur as in the limestone 
of Clapham Dale, above the entrance to Tngleborough 


Cave, where, in all probability as the effects of glaciation, 
a smooth surface slopes down until it joins the perpen- 
dicular sides of the gorge ; being an example on a smaller 
scale of phenomena seen along the course of the Wye, 
between Buxton and Bakewell. At the now unused 
Ingleton slate quarries a somewhat similar canon-like 
gorge has been cut through hard Lower Silurian grits 
and slates. From these and other examples it may be 
inferred that in pre-glacial times these watercourses 
existed as canons with banks nearly perpendicular, 
extending through the whole thickness of the Carbon- 
iferous Limestone ; being, on a miniature scale, no inapt 
representation of those of the Colorado. 

In some places the " Calliard " blocks are isolated, in 
others are in close approximation, or even piled upon 
each other. They must formerly have existed in even 
greater numbers, having been greatly used in the making 
of fences, sometimes forming the entire structure of the 
wall ; or when Millstone Grit or Limestone preponderate, 
they are utilised for "throughs," (blocks passing through 
the whole thickness of a wall to bind it together) . They 
exist in great abundance on the flanks of the valleys, 
and were nowhere observed in such abundance as on 
those of Crummack Dale and on the Carboniferous 
Limestone of Norber Scar (a spur of the Ingleborough 
mountain at the entrance to the dale), and on the 
Silurian rocks which form its base, whence they spread 
westward as far as the water-parting between Austwick 
Beck (the stream issuing from Crummack Dale) and 
Clapham Beck. 

Numerous isolated blocks of Silurian Grit are 
scattered over the Carboniferous Limestone above Settle, 
and many were uncovered in acquiring access to Victoria 

\ i 


Cave, which is 1,450 feet above the sea level.* As 
1,160 feet is the greatest elevation at which Silurian 
rocks occur in situ in Bibbleedale, t these boulders must 
have been raised, at least, 290 feet from where they were 
originally derived. 

Professor Sedgwick, in 1851,1 and Professor Phillips, 
in 1853, § recorded the occurrence of these blocks at 
Norber, and on Moughton (the Scar on the opposite 
side separating Crummackdale from Kibble sdale). Com- \ \ 
pelled to attribute their presence to glacial action, they 
both regarded them " as uplifted and floated by ice, and 
dropped on surfaces which had been swept by currents 
clear of other loose matter." It may be this idea 
originated from observation of the carrying power of 
ice for great distances in the bed of the St. Lawrence. 
The hypothesis was applied by Sir Henry de la Beche, 
in 1832, to account for the position of large blocks 
similarly situated in Alpine countries, but he cautiously 
declined to consider such explanation as a well-ascer- 
tained truth, but merely as an hypothesis, which future 
and extensive observation may or may not prove 
correct. || 

As these blocks in many instances rest at an elevation 
of more than two hundred feet above any locality from 
which they could by any possibility have been derived, 
the application of this hypothesis is rendered absolutely 
untenable ; there is likewise not the least evidence that, 
at the time they were placed in their present position or 
since, the 6ea has at any time covered this district. 

Amongst these blocks are some which have cracks 

* Professor W. Boyd Dawkins. f Professor John Phillips. 

{ Quart. Journ. Geol. Soo. f Vol. viii., page 53. 

§ " Rivers, Mountains, and Sea-Coast of Yorkshire," page 111. 

!! " Geological Manual," by Henry T. de la Beche, F.B.S., page 177, 


passing entirely through, splitting them into two or 
many parts; if such rest with a flat surface on the 
ground, the fragments remain so nearly in apposition 
that a few blades of grass only can grow in the crevices. 
Where not thus supported the fragments are removed to 
a short distance from each other, — for such a space and 
to such a position as they would take by falling from 
each other in the act of separation. (Fig. 3.) A 
remarkable one occurs as an isolated block at Winskill, 
two miles north of Settle, at an elevation certainly 
greater than are the Silurian Grits in situ a few miles 
up the Valley of the Eibble ; it rests on Carboniferous 
Limestone, which, being protected from atmospheric 
disintegration by this erratic block, forms a pedestal 
slightly elevating it above the general surface. A large 
gap has been formed at one end of the stone, and two 
fragments, just sufficiently large and of such shape as 
would fill up the vacancy, lie within a few feet, at just 
such a distance and so placed as if they had fallen from 
the gap. (Fig. 4a.) 

The position in which these boulders lie can be attri- 
buted to no conditions at present existing in the British 
Isles ; nor can they have been carried there by floating 
ice as occurs in the Eiver St. Lawrence, but, composed 
of locally derived rocks, it must have been due to local 
causes. The only power capable of effecting it appears 
to be that of glaciers formed by the snow which has 
fallen on the respective waterslopes of the different 
valleys. Moraine accumulations containing ice-marked 
and other pebbles, are found in the lower country in 
near vicinity to these dales ; more generally formed, not 
in the direct course in which a glacier may be supposed 
to have flowed, but upon the sides, — that is, they are 
lateral moraines. 


The contour of the ground has bad a great effect in 
determining the position of these boulders. At the foot 
of the escarpment, between Norber Scar and the 
entrance to Clapham Dale, the area extending from the 
limestone to the fault, secondary to the Great Craven 
fault, is formed of Silurian slates ; thus a hollow has 
been caused between the limestone of the escarpment 
and that thrown down by the secondary fault. A 
glacier issuing from the contracted valley would here 
find room for expansion, and, being thus removed from 
the main current, would, during successive thaws, 
deposit there the blocks with which it was loaded. In 
the form of the ground may also be found an explana- 
tion why many of the blocks are perched on the 
limestone escarpment, &c, at a greater altitude than 
the strata from which they have been derived. A little 
within the entrance to Crummack Dale the Coniston 
Limestone and Upper Silurian Grits dip to the North 
East, and form ridges, extending diagonally from North- 
West to South-East, across the valley; the Silurian 
Grits, on being broken off from their beds, the more 
readily that they are interstratified with thin beds of 
slate, locally known as " Calf," * would have had the 
detached blocks carried up these planes by pressure 
of the accumulated snow as it progressed down the 

On the heights above Settle, blocks of Silurian Grit 
are lying on Carboniferous Limestone at an elevation 
greater by about 300 feet than any strata from which 

* Similar thin bands of slate, haying distinct cleavage planes, even 
When their thickness is only an eighth of an inch, are common at Aroo, 
and other Flagstone quarries in Bibblesdale, and also occur in the 
Flagstone quarries near Llangollen, North Wales. 


they can possibly have been derived. The Vale of the 
Kibble, above Horton, is formed in Carboniferous 
Limestone ; from below this the bed of the river and the 
sides of the valley, to a considerable height, consist of 
contorted grits, flags, and slates, the denuded edges of 
which are overlaid by horizontal strata of Carboniferous 
Limestone; south of Moughton the limestone has been 
entirely removed and the valley expands until, at Great 
Staniforth, three miles north of Settle, it again becomes 
contracted, a gorge being formed by limestone rocks. It 
may, therefore, be presumed that a glacier formed 
higher up in Bibblesdale, finding an obstruction in 
passing through this gorge, would be forced up over the 
barrier of limestone at the upper entrance, and overflow 
the escarpments which form its sides, carrying along 
the materials embedded in it, until it could find a means 
of emergence in the open country beyond. 

There remain for consideration the causes by which 
some of these boulders have been fractured entirely 
through their whole mass. It has been shewn that such 
fracture could not have occurred as the effect of a blow 
or fall, and there is not the least evidence in any 
examined by which it can be attributed to such a cause. 
The blocks must have appeared whole at the time the 
diminishing glacier left them in the locality where they 
now lie. The chemical effects of prolonged exposure to 
the weather have only altered the Silurian Grit to a very 
short depth from the surface. The hard and compact 
character of the blocks, and their imperviousness to 
moisture, have preserved them from the effects of those 
changes which would have disintegrated most other 
rocks. I see no explanation but that these fractures 
have been occasioned by those exposures to atmospheric 
vicissitudes which cause successive changes in the 


expansibility of rocks; the successive expansion and 
shrinkage by heat and cold; by wetness and dryness; 
by frost and thaw. The constant repetition of such 
climatic changes must eventually break up and disin- 
tegrate rocks, however hard and indestructible they may 
be. In some of these boulders there may have been 
joints in progress at the time the blocks were carried 
j away by the force of the moving glacier; should there 

I have been such, continued exposure would cause these 

concealed joints to increase, until sooner or later the 
rock would be fractured entirely through. 


By George H. Mokton, F.G.S. 

The Maps of the Geological Survey, Sheet 37 and 41, 
and the Horizontal Section, No. 3, Sheet No. 7, 
represent the Gower district. The country was surveyed 
in and about 1837 by De la Beche and Logan, some 
corrections having been since inserted. The date of the 
section is somewhat later, but the outlines of the for- 
mations correspond exactly with the Map. I have not 
been able to find any description of the Geology of the 
district around Swansea, or of Gower, except the article 
in "Science Gossip" for August and September, 1880, 
by Mr. H. B. Woodward, F.G.S., entitled, "A Sketch of 
the Geology of Swansea and the Neighbourhood/' 
wherein are described the Cambrian, Silurian, Old Red 
Sandstone, Carboniferous and other formations shewn on 
the Survey Maps. 




Mr. Woodward informs his readers thnt the Old Red 
Sandstone is 5,500 feet thick, of which about 4,000 feet 
belong to the upper subdivision of red sandstone and 
quartzose conglomerate. The lower subdivision consists 
of marls with cornstones. The Lower Carboniferous 
Shale only presents traces of its occurrence round the 
base of the Carboniferous Limestone in Gower. The 
limestone at the Mumbles and at Worms Head varies 
from 1,200 to 1,500 feet in thickness. 

The Millstone Grit does not occur in Gower, but its 
place seems to be occupied by the Gower Shales, about 
1,636 feet 10 inches of various shales, sandstones and 
limestones along the course of a stream at Bishopston, a 
few miles from Swansea, show the general character of 
the formation. Further north at Mynydd Garreg, &c, 
the Millstone Grit is a thick sandstone formation with a 
conglomerate at the base. 

The Coal-measures are separated into Upper and 
Lower by the Pennant Grit, a formation peculiar to 
S. Wales, 8,246 feet thick in the Town Hill, Swansea, 
the strata being principally sandstone. The only 
peculiarity deserving of notice in the Pennant Grit is 
the occurrence of nodules of coal in abed of matted stems 
and other vegetable matter described by Logan. 

Mr. Woodward describes the Triassic, Liassic, and 
Post Pliocene, including caverns and recent deposits, 
and states that Dr. Falconer considered that the Gower 
caves were filled with the Mammalian remains after the 
deposition of the Boulder-clay. He is of necessity 
very brief in his descriptions, that of the Carboniferous 
Limestone being limited to the following paragraphs : — 

" The Carboniferous or Mountain Limestone consists 
for the most part of grey and bluish-grey limestone and 
encrinital marble ; broken encrinites being more abun- 


dant in the lower portion, corals in the tipper. It forms 
the main portion of Gower, from the Mumbles to Worm's 
Head, where it is from 1,200 to 1,500 feet in thickness. 
At the latter place it is much disturbed and faulted. Near 
Oystermouth Castle the upper beds consist of a few feet 
of dark-coloured carbonaceous limestone, intermingled 
with siliceous matter, and in places highly fossiliferous. 
This bed, described by De la Beche, is said to occur here 
and there along the boundary of Carboniferous Lime* 
stone between Swansea and Caermarthen bays. 

" The thickness of the limestone is estimated at 
upwards of 2,000 feet in Caldy Island; while near 
Llangadock, on the north side of the Coal-basin, it 
becomes reduced to 510 feet. 

"Among the fossils recorded from the district are 
remains of fishes; mollusca of the genera Chonetes, 
Spirifera, Productus, Orthis, Betzia ; polyzoa of the genus 
Ceriopoda, the crinoid Actinocrinus, &c. 

" Here and there traces of galena have been met with 
in the limestone, and there are * Old lead works ' between 
Llangan and Penlline, about four miles south-east of 

The Carboniferous Limestone of Gower is well 
exposed within a few miles from Swansea. On the east 
side of Oystermouth Castle there is a quarry, close to the 
tramway terminus, where the strata consist of thin bed- 
ded black limestone, with intervening thin layers of 
shale of the same colour. The strata are very different 
to any other beds about the Mumbles, and seem to be 
the highest in the Carboniferous Limestone, just 
below the Gower shales. Fifty or sixty feet of strata are 
exposed, and they are all of the same thin-bedded char- 
acter, with a considerable dip to the south-east. I a|n: 

" Science Gossip," No. 188, Aug., 1880, p. 172, Vol. 16. 





not certain that I saw the identical bed, described by 
De la Beche, but the highest visible beds contain fossils 
much the same as described by him; the following I 
noticed myself, viz. : — Chonetes Hardrensis, Productw 
semireticulatm, P. costatus, Spirifera bisidcata, Tere- 
bratula hastata, and FenesteUa plebeia, all common 
species in the Upper Grey Limestone in North Wales. 

A few hundred yards to the south-west of the Castle 
there is another quarry, where the limestone is of the 
same dark colour, but the beds are much thicker and 
form an anticlinal, with a general dip towards, and con- 
sequently under, the thinner beds already described. 

From Oystermouth to the Mumbles the limestone is 
well exposed in precipitous cliffs along the coast, to 
which the beds dip at an angle of 60° or 70°, so that the 
upper surface often forms the mural exposure. The 
limestone is very hard and has been much altered and 
in places converted into dolomite. There are some beds 
of rubble interstratified with it, but very few fossils occur. 
The same beds of limestone continue to Mumbles 
Point, and the two islands beyond, the furthest being 
Mumbles Head. The strata are exposed over a great 
portion of the promontory between Oystermouth and the 
sea, all being of the same dark colour, though they 
weather and appear white when not broken, and when 
seen from a distance. The Mumbles limestone lies 
immediately under the thin-bedded black strata of 
Oystermouth Castle, and the whole may be considered 
to be Upper Carboniferous Limestone. 

Around Coswell Bay, two miles to the west, the 

limestone is of a similar dark colour, but very massive 

in its character, with merely bedding planes giving it a 

;sfcatified appearance. It seems to have been deposited 

in a single stratum, several hundred feet thick, for there 



is no trace of interstratified shale. Calcite occurs; along 
some of the bedding planes, crystallised in the same 
manner as in the joints, which are at a right angle to 
them. The limestone is usually of an oolitic structure, 
and there are numerous large specimens of the corals 
Lithostrotion irregvhre, and Syringopora, sp., &c. The 
oolite structure is confined to the lower or middle beds 
of the limestone ; for I carefully examined the limestone 
about the Mumbles without finding any trace of it, 
though it is of general occurrence in the strata 
around Goswell Bay, and indicates a lower horizon. 
Although the strata are very much faulted, and present 
synclinals and anticlinals so that their position in 
relation to the limestone at the Mumbles cannot be 
readily ascertained, it seems that they must belong to 
the middle, or lower portion of the Carboniferous Lime- 
stone. There is, however, no actual base to be seen 
in the locality, and it is most probable that the 
Limestone Shale and the Old Bed Sandstone are several 
hundred feet below the surface. At Oxwich Point the 
limestone is said to be of a light colour, and compact 
like marble. It is on about the same horizon as the 
Goswell Bay beds. 

The following is a list of Fossils from the Car- 
boniferous Limestone ; it appeared in " Science 
Gossip" for November, 1880, Vol. xvi., p. 260. 

They were collected in the vicinity of Swansea during 
the meeting of the British Association, with the exception 
of a few species in the Swansea Museum and the 
collection of Mr. N. Terrell : — 

1. Euomphalu8 Dionysiu 

2. Terebratvla hastata. 
8. Spirifera lineata. 
4. „ glabra. 

; ■». 



5* Spirifera bisulcata. 
6* ,, attenuate. 

7. BhynchoneUa accaminata. 

8. „ pleurodon. 

9. Productus cora. 

10. ,, giganteus, 

11. „ longispinus. 

12. ,, Martini* 
18. • ,, punctata*. 

14; ,, semiretictdatus Var. costatus. 

15. Orthis resupinata. 

16. Chonetes Hardrensis. 

17. Athyris ambigua. 

18. Fenestella plebeia. 

19. Phittipsia truncatula. 

20. Syringopora reticulata 

21. Lithostrotion irregulare. 

22. Cyathophyllum Stutchburyi. 

23. ClisiophyUum turbinatum. 

All these species occur in the Upper Grey Limestone 
of North Wales, and most of them have been found near 
Llangollen. Although Productus giganteus is very common 
in North Wales, it seems rare, or by no means common, 
in Gower. 

Although several times over the base of the limestone 
and the Lower Limestone Shale I saw no exposures of 
either, and consequently can only judge of their thickness 
from the general aspect of the country, which I had a fair 
opportunity of doing — map and section in hand. Cefn-y- 
bryn, the backbone of Gower, is a long stone-covered ridge 
of Old Bed Sandstone, composed of a red conglomerate, 
with white quartz pebbles, which are usually an inch or 
two in diameter. This rock forms the numerous stones 
: W#g OTer the heathy surface ; it is exposed in several 


places, and is used for building walls and such like 
rough purposes. It forms an anticlinal along the crest 
of the ridge, so that the thickness actually exposed may 
not be very great. The Geological Survey Section shows 
the Old Bed Sandstone to be altogether of considerable f 
thickness — the overlying Lower Limestone Shales 100 
feet; the Carboniferous Limestone 1,400 feet; and the 
Gower Shales 1,600 feet. 

The united thickness of the Carboniferous Limestone, 
with the underlying shale, being about 1,500 feet, is j 
about the same as North Wales, in the neighbourhood 
of Llangollen and Mold. The formation is some- 
what similar both in North and South Wales, — 
in both black limestone forms the upper subdivision 
with interstratified shale, and a very similar group of 
fossils. The lower beds of the Lower Brown Limestone 
at Llangollen bear a strong resemblance to the Lower 
Limestone Shale ; the chief peculiarity of the Carbon* 
iferous Limestone in Gower being its massive character, 
and absence of shale ; and the occurrence of the oolitic 
structure in the middle and lower portion of the 

The Millstone Grit reposing on the Carboniferous 
Limestone on the northern edge of the South Wales 
coal basin is remarkably like the Lower Cefn-y-Fedw 
Sandstone at Llangollen, and the Gower Shales much 
resemble the overlying series of shale, sandstone, and 
limestone at Holywell and Mold, in Flintshire. 

In my former Papers read before this Society, and in 
"The Geology of the Country between Llanymynech 
and Minera," I proved the gradual termination of the 
main mass of the Carboniferous Limestone, and the 
overlap of the Upper Grey Limestone south of all the 
lower subdivisions. According to several sections of the 



Geological Survey such an overlap is apparent on the 
north of the South Wales Coal basin. A section through 
the Carboniferous Limestone at Mynydd Garreg shows 
a thickness of about 550 feet; another section near 
Llandybie, about four miles from Llandeilo, 600 feet. A 
section at Carreg Llwyd shows a thickness of 500 feet, 
and another between Llandybie and Castel Craig Cennan 
450 feet. That the limestone is thinner on the north of 
the Coal Basin is therefore quite clear, but the question is 
how the attenuation has been caused. From observations 
made at Llandybie I am inclined to the opinion, that 
only the upper beds of the Carboniferous Limestone 
occur on the northern limits of the Coal Basin, and that 
some of the lower beds are represented by the upper 
beds of the Old Bed Sandstone; any unconformity 
between either the Millstone Grit and the Carboniferous 
Limestone, or between the limestone and the Old Bed 
Sandstone is very improbable — neither is any such 
break shown on the Geological Survey Sections. 

Mr. Woodward not only refers to the reduced thickness 
of the Carboniferous Limestone on the north side of the 
Coal-basin, but describes the area as a subsiding one, as 
proved by the successive overlapping of the strata from 
the Old Bed Sandstone to the Coal-measures. 

Finally I have arrived at the following conclusions : — 

1st. — That the upper beds of the Carboniferous 
Limestone, on the north side of the South Wales Coal 
Basin, originally terminated against the Llandeilo and 
Bala beds, some miles north of their present outcrop, 
precisely as they do south in North Wales. ' 

2nd. — That the lower beds of the limestone are 
represented by some of the upper beds of the Old Bed 
Sandstone, as in North Wftles, where red sandstone $n4 


marl on different horizons appear below the successive 
subdivisions of the limestone. 

3rd. — That the great central Silurian portion of 
Wales was never covered by the limestone, but that the 
Carboniferous sea extended along its western border, 
which accounts for the near resemblance of the forma* 
tion in both North and South Wales. 




By F. Abcheb. 

After a reference to a communication made to the 
Society in the previous Session, the material facts of 
which are incorporated in the following paper, the 
Author proceeded : — 

Raised beaches are to be found at different points of 
the Coast of Antrim and Down — for instance, at Carn- 
lough, Ballygally, Larne, Eilroot, Bangor, and as far 
South as Dundrum — and at each of these localities, or in 
their immediate neighbourhood, Flint remains may be 
obtained. It is, however, at Larne and Eilroot that the 
connection between the raised beach and the Flint 
implements is closest, and can be treated as part of the 
study of Geology. At these places the amount of 
specimens indicating the presence of man in the Stone 
Age is very large, and the beaches are of great extent. 
That at Eilroot may be said to extend from the White- 
head, at the mouth of Belfast Lough, past Eilroot to 
Carrickfergus, and on, at intervals, towards Belfast, 
forming in some places a compact bank some eight to 
ten feet high of excellent Gravel, composed of Flint 
and Basaltic boulders, derived from the headlands 
of Whitehead, That at Larne is known as the 


"Corran." It is in places fifteen feet in height, 
composed of similar materials to that at Kilroot, and 
projecting for about a third of a mile out into Larne 
Lough, with a breadth at the base of a quarter of a mile, 
thus forming to the west an inner bay, at the foot of 
which the town of Larne is situated, and to the east 
constituting a quay, alongside which vessels of the heaviest 
draft; can come, and stretching out along the promenade 
to the point on which an ancient Castle is situated. 
In each case the beach is found to rest sometimes on the 
surface of the Boulder-clay and sometimes ontheEstuarine 
silt, containing abundant shells and Foraminifera, which 
bears some resemblance to the blue silt with which 
we are familiar in the neighbourhood of Liverpool. 
This is very clearly shewn in a section behind the 
railway station at Larne Harbour, where an attempt 
has been made to manufacture bricks out of the Estuarine 
clay. In a section here, from west to east, we have 
near the Inner Bay a thin bed of small gravel covering 
the surface of the Boulder-clay, which here contains 
large masses of rolled Basalt, with Flint nodules and 
irregular pieces of the hardened Chalk of the neighbour- 
hood. Crossing the road leading from Larne Harbour to 
the town, we see the Boulder-clay rising covered with a 
somewhat thicker bed of gravel, containing larger stones. 
About 150 yards further on in the same direction, along 
a new cross-road leading down to the shore of the Strait, 
at the entrance of the Lough, there occurs on either 
side a sudden rise and fall on the surface of the land, 
which consists of a sort of wave of rounded gravel, some 
of the stones being six inches across. This, in the 
direction of the railway station, is seen to spread out 
into a large and high mass of similar gravel, much of 
which has been carried off as ballast ; and, in the other 



direction, extends to the rising ground and rooks at the 
mouth of the Harbour. On examination of a longitudinal 
section of this wave of gravel to the left of the road, 
where the brickfield is situated, we find that it rests upon 
a thin bed of sand and fine gravel, containing many 
marine shells, which again rests on a bed of Estuarine 
clay or silt, also containing many marine shells or 
Foraminifera, and in which I found a large Flint flake, 
much discoloured by the nature of the clay in which it 
was situated, (possibly strayed from above.) 

At Kilroot the beach in its main extension is situate 
on the Boulder-clay; while further west, near Garrick- 
fergus, it is on the Estuarine Bed. It may be further 
observed that at Kilroot there is regular false bedding 
rising from west to east. 

In both these localities, as before stated, the number 
of Flint flakes on the surface is enormous, and the 
conclusion is irresistible that these were the sites of 
manufactories, where, the raw material being in plenty, 
the flakes out of which arrow-heads, scrapers, and other 
larger implements were made, were roughed out. The 
condition of these rough fragments, however, is very 
puzzling. Most have their edges chipped, but in an 
incomplete way, as if by unskilful workmen; but still, it 
would seem, by human hands, and not by the effect of 
washing against one another. Others seem still more 
rough, and much worn, as if they had been subject to 
the action of the waves. It is not common to find here 
worked scrapers or arrow-heads, such as are found 
frequently elsewhere; but they do occur both at Kilroot 
and Lame. 

I stated in my former observations that while at 
Kilroot last year I had an exceptionally good opportunity 
of examining the raised beach and its contents, as the 


men were carting off many hundred tons of it, and laying 
it alongside the neighbouring railway for ballast. They 
first cleared away all the top soil, which contained many 
flakes, to a depth of about eighteen inches, thus leaving 
only apparently undisturbed gravel, and then took 
down the whole bank, some seven or eight feet in h eight. 
I was convinced by watching the men at work for some 
hours on successive days that many Flint flakes occurred 
in the lower part of the bank, and so stated to this 
Society. As, however, my friend Mr. Wm. Gray, of 
Belfast, who is the best authority on all matters con- 
nected with the subject, had expressed a strong opinion, 
derived from his long experience, that they were oiily 
found on the surface, or a few feet down where the gravel 
had been disturbed, I did not like to allow my view to 
be stated in print until I had confirmed my previous 
conclusion by a second examination. This I have now 
done with a satisfactory result. The men were not 
working while I was there this year, but had left a good 
perpendicular face for me to work at. I extract the 
following from my notes made at the time. 

Friday, 1st October. — Borrowing a potato fork from 
a farm near, I made a good face, entirely removing the 
talus that had fallen since the men had been at work, 
at a central part of the bank, and examined the stuff as 
I felled it, and also the undisturbed face, with the 
greatest care and circumspection. I ultimately found 
and brought away twenty- eight specimens of flakes, cores, 
and fragments, all of which I extracted from the undis- 
turbed gravel, and several of the most characteristic of 
them I picked out of the bank itself, before the stuff was 
felled, with my fingers, seeing the ends protruding. I 
also collected a number of marine shells associated with 
the Flints, which latter I marked "K" for identification, 


Saturday, 2nd October* — I again visited the pit, and 
with my weapon I attacked the face opposite to that 
taken yesterday. Though I removed an equal quantity 
of material, I only found five specimens shewing human 
workmanship, a fact which may explain how it comes 
that careful observers have arrived at conclusions that 
the raised beaches do not contain Flint flakes. I, 
however, found many more marine shells than on 
the previous day; oysters, cockles, and periwinkles 
being very abundant, with other species not used for 

I also examined the heap of ballast which had been 
carted to stand alongside the railway. In doing that, 
as I saw last year, the men first removed all the earthy 
upper layer, which contained many flakes, and which 
had no doubt been frequently disturbed in agricultural 
operations, leaving an undisturbed mass below, which 
was carted away just as it was, without being screened. 
Thus the ballast heap consists, in my opinion, of what 
was previously the undisturbed beach ; I picked up on it 
a dozen excellent and characteristic cores, a few flakes, 
and a few marine shells, thus confirming my conclusions 
as above stated. 

As will be seen on examination, the specimens 
obtained from the bank are exceedingly rude, and, with 
very few exceptions, inferior to the average of the speci- 
mens found on the surface, but they will in almost 
every case be found to possess all the requisites of the 
typical Flint flake and core, as given in Mr. Gray's 
compendious paper, entitled " The Character and Dis- 
tribution of the rudely-worked Flints of the North of 
Ireland," extracted from "The Royal Historical and 
Archaeological Journal" (4th series, vol. v., July, 1879, 
p. 6,) which I may here repeat, 


J t The flat end; being a portion of the face of the Flint core 
from which the flake was struck. 

B. The bulb of percussion, shewing the point that received the blow. 

C. The conehoidal face as the result of the blow. 

D. One or more ridges at the back. 

E. The inclining surfaces or facets. 

When I shewed these specimens to Mr. Eobert 
McAdam, the learned Editor of " The Ulster Journal of 
Archeology," he exclaimed, " They look very much like 
the beginning of the manufacture. " 

It had been suggested by Mr. Gray that the false 
bedding at the Kilroot pit might indicate a reassortment 
of the materials of the* beach by the stream of water 
which reaches the shore not far from it, in the same 
way as has occurred at Carnlough; this is, however, 
rendered highly improbable, if not disproved, by the 
presence in abundance of marine shells of several 
species associated with the Flint remains, which, as 
above stated, are unequally distributed throughout the 
mass, some species occurring much more abundantly in 
some parts of the pit than in others.* 

I was not able to make a similar close investigation 
of the beach at Larne to what I have above described at 
Kilroot, though, from what I have observed, I have no 
doubt of a similar result ; but we have the authority of Mr. 
Hull, of the Geological Survey, in his " Physical Geography 
of Ireland," to the effect that the raised beach of Larne 
is " composed of stratified and water- worn gravel, with 
numerous bleached marine shells, and flint flakes of 
human workmanship/ ' He concludes from "the pre- 
sence of worked flints, associated with the shells, in the 

* A list of the Fossils of the Estuarine clay, by 8. A. Stewart, 
will he found in Appendix ii. to the Proceedings of the Belfast 
Naturalists' Field Club, 1871. A list of those, of the Baised Beaches of 
Larne and Kilroot is in the Report of the Belfast Meeting of the 
British Association in 1874' 


stratified gravels at Larne and Kilroot, that the coast 
has been raised since the occupation of the British Isles 
by the ancient Celtic tribes." I think that a thorough 
and elaborate examination of the Corran at Larne, to 
ascertain the depth at which traces of human workman- 
ship can be found there, should be made ; and that the 
grant which was made by the British Association for the 
examination of the remains of the Stone Age generally 
in the North of Ireland, might with advantage be 
renewed for this special purpose. 

It need scarcely be remarked how important a 
thorough knowledge of this point is in determining the 
question of the age of Man in Ireland. Up to the 
present time it is conceded on all hands that no deposits 
containing such paloeolithic implements as have been 
discovered in several localities in England, as at Shrub 
Hill, Brandon Field, Canterbury, and Broome Hill, have 
been found in Ireland, and it is not claimed for the 
remains in the raised beaches that they are of so remote 
an epoch; still Mr. Hull refers to the Flints of 
Larne and Kilroot as " Paloeolithic/ ' and the occurrence 
of the specimens throughout a raised beach, the base of 
which, namely, the surface of Boulder-clay, is itself 
several feet above the reach of the highest spring tides, 
carries back the existence of man in Ireland to a some 
what far distance. I am not aware that any attempt 
has been made to gauge the rate at which the coast has 
been elevated or depressed ; but it is a somewhat singular 
fact that on each of these two beaches at Kilroot and 
Larne a Castle was erected by King John, and it is thus 
certain that no material change whatever has taken 
place in the last 700 years.* 

* See, however, " A Problem for Irish Geologists in Post-glacial 
Geology/' by T. Mellard Beade, C.E., in the Scientific Proceedings of 
the Royal Dublin Society, for 1879. 


The remainder of the paper consisted of notes on the 
Archaeology of the Sandhill Settlements of the Stone 
Age, at Port Stewart, Ballintoy, Dundram, &c. The 
paper was illustrated by numerous specimens. 

The following List of Papers on the above subject is 
taken from Mr. Wm. Gray's Pamphlet : — 

Robkbt Day : Proceedings Kilkenny Archaeological Society, Jan., 1865. 

E. Benn: „ „ April, 1865. 

W. Gray : Belfast Naturalists' Field Club Report, April, 1867. 

B. Day : Proceedings Kilkenny Archaeological Society, Oct., 1868. 

J. Evans : " Arch»ologia," Vol. xli., 1868. 

G. V. du Noybb ; Journal Royal Geological Society of Ireland, 1868. 

J. H. Staples : Belfast Naturalists' Field Club Report, 1869. 

W. H. Trail : Geological Survey Memoir, Sheets 49 and 50, 1871. 

W. J. Knowles : British Association Meeting, Belfast, 1874. 

W. Gray: „ „ 1874. 

W. Gray : Belfast Naturalists' Field Club Report, 1875. 

Professor Hull : Geological Survey Memoir, Sheets 21, 28 <fe 29, 1876. 

W. J. Knowles : British Association Meeting, Dublin, 1878. 

W.J. Knowles: „ „ Sheffield, 1879. 



By T. Mellard Rbade, C.E., F.G.S. 

The following notes do not pretend to be more than 
passing records of observations made by the writer in 
various places in the Southern and Midland Counties 
and in South Wales, that he has from time to time 
happened to visit. But, though not the result of a 
systematic survey, the general bearings and relations of 
the facts have been kept steadily in view* These will be 
discussed in the concluding remarks to the extent such- 
like observations may warrant. 



And here I must disabuse your minds of any idea 
that the title of this paper implies anything more than 
geographical distribution, although there are certain 
marked distinctions which will be explained between the 
Drift found in the South and that in the North of 


In November, 1868, when examining the Chesil Bank, 
I was struck by the appearance of a section of what 
appeared to be Drift, at a point where the Chesil Bank 
dies into the Isle of Portland in the form of a beach. 
I produce a sketch of it such as I made at the time. 
The object of my visit being the examination of the 
pebble ridge, I had no time then to make further obser- 
vations. My notes are to this effect : " It is a brown 
sandy sort of loam, full of irregular flints, and looks 
uncommonly like Boulder-clay ; interstratified in it are 
a few bands of pebbles exactly like those of Chesil Bank." 

In the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 
for Feb. 1875, is an elaborate paper by Professor Prest- 
wich, entitled " Notes on the Phenomena of the Quater- 
nary Period in the Isle of Portland and around Wey- 
mouth," and in it is a sketch of an " old land debris, 
with large boulders and seams of loess with land shells ; 
cliff Chesilton," evidently a portion of the section I 
observed. Professor Prestwich devoted much more time 
to its examination than was at my disposal, but it is 
curious that no mention is made of the bands of 
pebbles similar to those in the Chesil Bank. I wrote to 
him on the subject, but he appeared indisposed to believe 
in their existence, as he had not himself observed them. 
Probably the section was in a different state when he 
saw it. At all events I am convinced of the accuracy 


of my observations at the time, as I actually took out 
some of the pebbles from the face of the cliff, at a a, 
Plate 1, and brought them home. At a subsequent date 
I examined the same section, but could then find nothing 
but angular pieces of chert from the oolite embedded in 
it. On the same day I paid a visit to the raised beach 
at Portland Bill, with Prestwich's paper in my hand. 

The raised beach consists of stratified gravel, shingle, 
and sand, cemented together into a conglomerate by 
carbonate of lime, derived doubtless from the oolitic 
rocks, and capped by a fine clayey sand, stratified. It 
lies on a low cliff of rocks overhanging the sea. Not far 
off, and over a quarry, I sketched another section consist- 
ing of calcareous sand, full of shells, with pieces of local 
rubble embedded therein, and covered with a bed of soil 
also containing marine shells. , I noted it as remarkable 
that in the shell beds the stones were mainly local, and 
the flints interspersed among them were rounded; but 
when the beds were composed of flints the shells were 
absent. I found only subaeriaJ clay soil or talus cover- 
ing the beds. I formed the opinion that the pebbles 
were all marine, and had travelled there under ordinary 
conditions. No marks of ice action were to be seen. 
These beds of Drift do not occur like our Drift which 
covers the country, but only here and there, more like 
what is to be seen on the Macclesfield hills. From 
Weymouth to Lulworth Gove I observed none. There 
occurred nothing but subaerial remains of the chalk, a 
superficial bed lying on its surface. From Seaton to 
Lyme Begis I could discover nothing in the form of 


The most remarkable feature of the country is the 
Hamoze, an inland water where men-of-war may be 


i It 


A » 


seen lying at anchor. It is really a southern fijord, 
evidently the result of a depression of the valley of the 
Tamar. On the Hoe are the remains of a raised beach. 
We find in patches shells and shell fragments cemented 
together with carbonate of lime, lying upon Devonian 
limestone; in some places it consists of pebbles and 
angular fragments ; there is also a good deal of angular 
cover lying upon it. I visited the raised beach at the 
Hoe with a party of geologists from the British Associa- 
tion. Some of them thought they could discover traces 
of glacial action on the limestone : there were no stria- 
tums, but smoothed hollows. I never yet saw any glacial 
markings take this form. I attribute the surface form 
of the rocks to chemical action of water acting under the 
superficial covering of Drift. 


About 7 miles from Liskeard, in a subaerial cover 
forming the downs, are large boulders of trap. When 
we approach the granite district the subsoil is composed 
of very coarse grains of decomposed granite, and 
embedded among it are very large blocks and boulders, 
also of granite. How these large boulders have been 
transported, or produced, does not seem quite easy of 
explanation. The Cheesewring in itself is a most striking 
object in appearance, consisting of a series of circular 
cushions of granite piled on each other (see Sketch, 
Plate 2). It stands as if to shew the extent of the 
denudation which has taken place since the last sub- 
mergence; for we cannot help inferring that these 
blocks have been subaerially weathered out of the 
granitic mass. But we must not forget to notice that 
some of this granite decomposes rather rapidly ; for I 
noticed in the Parish Church at Plymouth, where granite 



and limestone have been used together in the dressed 
work, that the limestone stands the better of the two. 


From Bickleigh to the Dewar Stone the locality is 
very beautiful ; wooded glades, with ferns and mosses in 
profusion, giving delightful glimpses and vistas. The 
dark chocolate-coloured waters of the stream, enlivened 
by white foam, and bordered by luxuriant vegetation, is 
very refreshing to the artist's eye, or to any one appre- 
ciating colour. As far as the object of the present paper 
is concerned, the only remarkable things are the remains 
of granite boulders scattered about, and the evidences of 
denudation to be seen on all sides. 


Between the Isle of Portland and Watchett, on the 
British Channel, there is but little Drift to be seen. In 
the cuttings of a railway, between Midsummer Norton 
and Shepton Mallet, I observed some Drift covering up 
the irregular tilted edges of the Carboniferous limestone 
in one place, consisting of clay, but containing no stones. 
At Wells, on more than one occasion, I have observed 
by the Great Western Bail way Station, a Drift composed 
of angular and sub-angular stones, embedded at all 
angles, some with their axes vertical, consisting of 
Carboniferous, Devonian, Triassic, and Liassic rocks. 
At Westbury I observed an alluvial clay, but with no 
stones, overlying the iron, sands, worked from the surface 
by the Westbury Iron Company. Crossing the Quantock 
Hills, from Crowcombe to Watchett, we find they are 
singularly free from rock exposures, being smoothed off 
with a coating of angular detritus and subaerial marl. 
There are very few rounded stones to be seen, and no 





evidences of submergence. At Watchett we come upon 
the only true Boulder-clay that I have seen in Somerset. 
It lies at the top of the Lower Lias cliffs, exposed to 
the Bristol Channel. I sketched sections at four points. 
The first (Fig. 1, Plate 1) shows red clay (k), containing 
rounded stones, mostly Devonian. The second (Fig. 2) 
consists of three beds, the middle one being of shingle (i), 
and the lower (J) red clay, with stones at all angles. 
The third (Fig. 8) shews the same arrangements of beds, 
with seams of fine clay in the lower one, and fewer 
stones. The whole is about 18 feet thick, according to 
my notes. The fourth (Fig. 4) consists of shingle (t), 
lying on the upturned edges of the Lias, with a patch of 
yellow clay (ft) below it, on the left-hand side of a fault, 
and capped by red clay. The lower clay contains pebbles 
of Lias limestone, as well as Devonian sandstone. If 
there were erratic or travelled pebbles among the shingle, 
they must have been proportionally small in number. 
I noticed no scratches on the stones. The material of 
the clay has, no doubt, been derived from the Triassic 
marls which exist in the neighbourhood. 

Where the Midford Sands exist, as at Yeovil in 
Somerset, the valleys are Y-shaped and deep, and 
having been subject to great denudation, retain no traces 
of Drift; if it ever existed there. 


On the opposite side of the Bristol Channel is Fabius 
Bay, Swansea. A section of Boulder-clay is to be seen 
which may naturally connect itself with that just 
described at Watchett, though it bears more traces of 
being a glacial deposit. I give a section of it. The 
bedding is irregular, distorted, and thrown about in a 
manner those who have studied glacial Drifts are 


rfamiliar with. The lower bed of clay Plate 1 (6), con- 
tains many rounded boulders ; lying upon this is rudely 
stratified gravel and shingle (c), in inconstant beds. 
% A large angular block of " Pennant " stone, (e), lies 
embedded in it, and capping the cliff at d, is angular 
and subangular gravel. A band of buff-coloured clay 
runs across the section at/, g. 

It is very difficult to describe the sections in a way 
for others to realize without seeing them ; the bedding is 
so formless and inconstant as to be impossible to classify. 

In Langland Bay, lying on the Carboniferous Lime- 
stone, is a deposit of subangular Drift and waterworn 
pebbles. (1, Plate 1, Fig. a.) Between Langland and 
Caswell Bays, lying on the cliffs, is a sort of concrete 
of limestone " Macadam ; " it is a very singular deposit. 
At another point this (bed M, Figs, b and c) is capped 
by a Drift formed of sub-angular and rounded boulders 
(Z, Fig. b). These deposits seem to be synchronous with 
the raised beaches of Portland Bill. 


- I merely mention this place as a striking instance of 
the denuding power of rain when the subsoil is not pro- 
tected by vegetation. The fumes from the Copper works 
have destroyed, all vestiges of grass, the result being that 
the subsoil has been washed away, and the surface cut 
up and corroded with ramifying gutters. 


The surface of the chalk is covered over in places 

with a superficial deposit containing flints, but this has 

evidently been derived from the subaerial destruction 

of the chalk. Nothing of the nature of true Drift was 

t to be seen at any of the places I visited* 



The glacial beds of Finchley have been well described 
by Mr. Searles Wood, Mr. Walker, and others. In 
November, 1878, 1 examined the deposit which occupies 
what is called the north London glacial plateau, and 
is interesting, as being one of the few deposits really 
entitled to be ealled glacial about London. I give a )j 
section of a gravel pit as I sketched it at the time. The 
bottom bed (a, Plate 2), so far as exposed, is of yellow 
stratified sand, the surface having the appearance of 
being irregularly eroded. Upon this lies a discontinuous 
bed of flint gravel (b), the centre part shewn in section 
having the appearance of being bent over in a fold. 
Lying upon this is a brown clay (c), with blue marblings, 
and containing few stones. Mr. Walker informed me 
this was not considered to be Boulder-clay. This is 
capped with surface soil (d), with flints at the base, 
lying immediately on the clay. At Plowman's Manor 
brickfields the clay contains numerous fragments of 
chalk debris, and is full of fossils denuded from the chalk 
and lias. One of the men told me that a well sunk in 
the neighbourhood 45 feet deep, showed 80 feet of this 
clay with blue clay (London clay?) below, and that the 
clay got bluer in colour as the bottom was approached. 
I found a scratched limestone boulder. Erratic stones, 
such as trap and Old Bed sandstone, are found in it ; 
but I was not fortunate enough to detect any. Mr. Searles 
Wood places this clay under "the great purple clay " of 
Yorkshire ; but to an eye accustomed to Northern Drift 
the glacial characteristics of this clay seem but slight* 

A list of extraneous materials taken out of this 
Boulder-clay was kindly supplied me at the time by Mr. 
Walker. The largest boulder, which was of diorite, 
measured only 8 in., by 5 in., by 4 in* 




The superficial deposits of the Thames Valley have 
so often been described by geologists long familiar with 
them, among which are Mr. W. Whittaker, F.G.S., the 
late Professor Phillips, and Professor Prestwich, that I 
feel it would be impertinent on my part, from the 
cursory examinations I have made, to say much on the 
subject. Still, to enable you to realize, if possible, their 
relations to the northern glacial beds, I will describe 
what I have seen. At Grays Thurrock I examined the 
brick-earth and I give a section of the face of the 
excavation. (Plate 2.) The brick-earth (i.), of which 
about 5 feet was seen, is a dark yellowish brown loam, 
containing occasional flints and bands of calcareous 
matter. The upper bed (j.) is about 8 feet thick, a sort 
of alluvial clay with flints. There was nothing organic 
to be seen in this section. The bricks made from it are 
not very good, and vary in colour from a yellowish 
brown to red. I noticed in a burned brick, on another 
field, what I have never before seen in clay that has 
gone through a kiln — the shell of a gasteropod, its shape 
being perfectly preserved. The bricks also contained 
specks of glassy matter, hollow and of a brilliant blue. 

The level of this brick-earth is above that of the 
^present river, and there is decided evidence of very 
considerable denunciation having taken place since it was 
laid down. 

The Geological Survey shews what are called glacial 
gravels in the Thames valley, but I had not the good 
fortune to see any of them. The general appearance of 
the country about the Thames, if we except what is called 
the Thames gravel, is more remarkable for the absence 
than presence of Drift deposits. There were none in 
the Thanet sands where I have seen them, nor in a walk 



from Caterham to Godstone, or about Chiselhurst, did I 
perceive a trace of anything of the kind. In the neigh- 
bourhood of Gravesend I noticed some sand and gravel 
beds ; but unfortunately I cannot describe them, as my 
notes are mislaid. I shall have to refer to the observa- 
tions of others in my reasonings on these deposits. 

Commencing again in South Wales, I will now try 
and trace some of the Drift deposits up into the Midland 


In this valley is to be seen, along the hip sides, a 
yellow clay containing angular, sub-angular, and rounded 
"boulders. They appear to be mostly from local rocks. 
Some of the boulders are remarkably well rounded, 
which is the more striking as being mixed with so much 
angular debris. With the exception of the rounded 
boulders, the arrangement of the Drift of Chesilton, in 
the Isle of Wight, is not unlike it. It is rather a con- 
flicting mixture of materials, puzzling, like many of these 


A section of gravel Drift is to be seen at Newtown, 
near Ledbury. The gravel contains a good many fossils 
from the Silurian rocks, and I am told by a geological 
shoemaker in the neighbourhood, that the tooth of a 
Mammoth, 11 lbs. in weight, was found in a similar 
gravel near Ledbury. 


During the construction of the Hasley Waterworks, 
carried out by Mr. E. Pritchard, Engineer, to supply the 

town of Warwick with water, I had an opportunity of 

seeing a section of the Drift gravels and sand of the 

neighbourhood* The valley lies in the Eeuper Marls— 



(e), Plate 2 — as shewn in the section. .There ifl, com- 
mencing from the surface (/), about eight feet of gravel 
and shingle, the pebbles mostly of quartzite, varying in 
colour from white to nearly black, some being purple. 
Some of it looked like the quartzite of Harts Hill. I 
noticed one piece of volcanic ash, and a few flints, and 
what appeared to be Carboniferous sandstone. Mr. 
Pritchard shewed me some erratic boulders, including 
granite, he had picked out during the progress of the 
work. There appears to have been a Drift of materials 
from the various quarters of the compass. I noticed no 
striated or flattened stones. Below this bed is a white 
and yellow siliceous sand (g), barren of shells or other 
organic remains. Near the bottom of the trench exca- 
vated for one of the drains, about 25 feet deep, another 
bed of gravel (ft) was come upon, but it existed only in 
patches. Mr. Pritchard has since informed me that a 
large glaciated erratic was also found. There is argilla- 
ceous matter mixed with the upper gravel. 

The water supply is taken out of this sand bed (g) by 
means of deep drains. 

The Drift of Warwickshire generally is of the nature 
of that just described. Near Kenilworth Station is to 
be seen a considerable development of this gravel. 


The preceding observations, necessarily disconnected 
from being made at various times during the last eight 
years, as the opportunities presented themselves, I fear 
contain rather an uninteresting repetition ; but I have 
no desire to render the descriptions more palatable by* 
drawing upon the imagination* I fear enthusiasts, of 
which there are many in this branch of . geology, some*, 
times unintentionally do so* 


To an observer from the north, the most striking 
thing in the whole of the sections I have described of the 
Southern Drift is the absence of those features he usually 
considers accompany glacial deposits. If we leave out 
of account South Wales and Watchett, there is only 
Pinchley that presents any symptoms of what even by 
courtesy may be called "glacial action." Here in Lan- 
cashire we have undoubted evidence in the large planed 
and grooved erratics that are almost everywhere to 
be found, in addition to every other boulder, and 
many pebbles being distinctly marked in the same way. 
There is no mistaking the evidences, yet some geologists 
tell us that our beds are " reconstructed," not true glacial ; 
while others urge, on grounds that I cannot but con* 
aider purely theoretical, that such beds as those at 
Finchley are older than ours. It seems to be considered 
more respectable to have an ancient glacial deposit than 
a parvenu young one ! 

Again, another feature that strikes the northern 
geologist, is the exceedingly small development of these 
deposits as he travels south. The East coast deposits 
do not fall within the scope of this paper, nor have I 
yet seen them. 

Without going into details, if I may be permitted to 
take a comprehensive survey of this question with the 
materials at my disposal, I would point out that, as a 
general rule, the glacial deposits are in greatest force in 
the lower valleys of the mountain districts and the 
plains surrounding them. This applies equally to 
Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales. It is also 
worthy of notice that the markings, commonly considered 
to be evidences of glacial action, are found also in these 
areas — indeed, are confined to them. The smoothed, 
rounded, and striated rocks are the first features that 


were noticed in connection with former glacial action, 
and these are universally in the proximity of mountain 
districts. The groovings we find on the rocks under our 
marine Boulder-clay of Lancashire and Cheshire are 
those, so far as I know, the farthest removed from the 
mountain areas ; but when we get further south these 
cease, though there are rocks of identical nature and 
equally capable of retaining striations to be found else- 
where. The further off the mountains, also, as a rule, 
the fewer the erratics and the smaller. To a geologist 
studying the Drift of the midland and southern counties, 
it is no wonder if these beds give him, as they did 
Buckland, the impression of diluvial action — of the 
action of floods of water rather, than of transfer by ice. 
Depend upon it, these old-fashioned first ideas contain 
some portion of truth — perhaps quite as much as the 
more complicated and new-fangled explanations that are 
afterwards adopted and applied. Our besetting sin is 
that we are constantly pushing theories to extremes ; each 
discoverer of some new thing, like the inventor of a 
patent, thinks his machinery adequate for anything it 
can be put to do. No doubt it is ; but then the question 
arises, was it ever put to do it ? I know I am speaking 
dreadful heterodoxy ; but I consider that those geologists 
who, to explain the glacial period, gather up the waters 
of the ocean about either pole, so as even to displace to 
some extent the centre of gravity of this spheroid, are 
not one whit more reasonable than the old-fashioned 
catastrophists, who explained every apparent break in 
sequence by mighty convulsions destroying all life. 

"The Geology of Oxford and the Valley of the 
Thames/' that excellent work by the late Professor 
Phillips, contains a very good account of the superficial 
gravels and deposits within the drainage basin of the 


Thames. It will not do for me here to repeat in detail 
what he says ; but he divides the gravels into hill or 
high level gravel containing stones brought from a dis* 
tance, and valley or low level gravel, consisting mostly of 
rocks due to the valley itself. He says, p. 458: " These 
hill gravels are composed of materials which it is 
impossible to suppose to have been drifted at any time or 
under any circumstances by water flowing as a river, or 
inundation' from atmospheric precipitations : the extent 
of ground occupied and the nature of the pebbles and 
fragments imply the agency of wide ocean streams 
mostly directed from the northward to the southward. 
A marine origin is thus found for the hill gravels ; but I 
am not aware of any modern reliqu© of the sea being 
found in them within the drainage of the Thames, though 
ancient fossils are common enough in particular places. 
Floating ice has been suggested as the vehicle of the 
transport of these extra Tamisian stones, and their 
geological date is expressed by the term 'glacial,' the 
valley gravels being universally admitted to be 'post 
glacial/ " 

I am quite prepared to accept Phillips' explanation* 
I have seen innumerable sections of Drift in various 
parts of the country that do not contain even the particle 
of a marine shell, that, nevertheless, I am convinced are 
the result of sea action. It is extremely probable that 
subaerial action has since destroyed all traces of their 
origin. It does not require any great research to 
establish the fact that the deposits as a rule 
thicken as the mountain areas are neared. For 
instance, although there are the Eeuper Marls in 
Warwickshire to supply the material) there exists in 
that county no deposit of Boulder-clay such as 
we have in Lancashire and Cheshire. I was struck 


with the absence of Boulder-clay in Warwickshire, 
and its replacement with sand and gravel. .Level, no 
doubt, has a great deal to do with the prevalence and 
development of these glacial deposits, as I hope to prove 
more fully at some future time. A glance at my sections 
will shew that the deposits in the south-west, having any 
pretensions to be called glacial, when away from the 
mountains lie very near the sea level. 

It is difficult to take a connected view of all the Drift 
phenomena ; but I have seen no evidence yet pointing 
clearly to more than one uninterrupted glacial period 
and one submergence. The Southern Drift is only what 
we might expect to result from sea action with occasional 
floating ice, modified since by being exposed to con- 
tinuous subaerial influences. The shingle and gravel 
most probably was principally distributed by tidal and 
wind currents. The almost universal roundness of the 
pebbles points to this. There are other causes to be 
considered, which I can hardly bring forward, much less 
treat of in this paper, influencing the distribution of the 
Boulder-clay ; but I have collected a body of facts in this 
neighbourhood, which I hope to put into order soon, that 
may throw some light upon this question. 

Deposits of angular debris, such as that of the Isle 
of Portland, invariably occur near to high ground. 
Professor Prestwich accounts for these by sudden 
re-emergence of the land creating diluvial action> by which 
the materials are washed off the sides of the hills and 
deposited at the base before the stones have a chance of 
being rounded. The explanation does not commend 
iteelf to my mind. It appears to me, notwithstanding 
his elaborate arguments to the contrary, to be simply in 
the nature of talus, and land wash that has in many 


eases come within reach of the sea.* I agree with him 
that most probably it has been formed daring emergence, 
bat slowly, and also since by gradual accretion and by 
land slips. This phenomenon of angular debris is not 
confined to the south of England, but occurs also to a 
greater or less extent in most true glacial deposits that 
lie against steep hill sides. But much of this angular 
debris is certainly posterior to the glacial period, and I 
take it as an evidence of a great lapse of time since that 
period during which subaerial action has gone on, 
constituting a proof of its antiquity. 

If from the South Coast we direct our attention to the 
extreme North of Scotland, we find from the wonderfully 
graphic pictures of the Boulder-clay sections in Bobert 
Dick's Letters to Hugh Miller, as given in Smiles' 
biography of Dick — a work that should be read by all 
geologists — that a deposit very different to any I have 
described covers much of the County of Caithness, t It 
would appear from his descriptions, that the Boulder- 
clay there is more nearly of the nature of " Till " than is 
our marine Boulder-clay ; that it is more stony, and 
composed of the grindings of the adjacent rocks. I have 
but lately read these letters, and was much struck by the 
graphic power and intelligence they display. Further, 
they go towards strengthening my convictions as to the 
origin of " Till," as expressed in my paper on the " Glacial 
beds of the Clyde and Forth," I had the honour to read 
at this Society last session; which views were further 
expounded in a paper I contributed to the Glasgow 
Geological Society on "The Belations of the Glacial 

* Those wishful to know more of this deposit should read Mr.. 
Prestwich's very excellent paper, already referred to. 

f It has been described by many geologists, but none enable us to 
form bo clear an image of its nature as do Dick's word pictures, ' 


Beds of the Clyde and Forth to those of the North- West 
of England." 

It would appear to me that the apparently diluvial 
deposits of the middle and South of England are the 
result of subaerial re-arrangement! denudation, and 
attrition of the deposits laid down during the same 
period that produced our marine Boulder-clays and the 
Bcotch fossiliferous and unfossiliferous Till. The deposits 
have been thinner ; they have been spread over a larger 
area of country, so that everything has conduced to 
favour their alteration and re-arrangement. Though 
the rainfall is less, excepting in Cornwall, than it is in 
the north of England, the quantity of rain is more*, from 
the greater area receiving it, consequently the rivers are 
larger. In North Wales and in Scotland the mountain 
streams entering the sea are choked with rounded boulders 
and gravel, also, I believe principally the result of denu- 
dation of glacial deposits. But these phenomena, from 
the configuration of the land, are confined to the narrow 
valleys, while in mid-England the rivers are larger, 
slower, and wider, and here the deposits naturally are 
more spead over the country; while those on the plateaus, 
no doubt, have had their materials first rolled by the 
sea, and then their lighter materials subaerially washed 
out of them. 

As regards the raised beaches surrounding our 
coasts, it is difficult to fix their relative position in time. 
Most probably those I have described near the Mumbles 
are [synchronous with that of the Bill of Portland; 
the levels are much the same. 

What I have laid before you are merely a few facts 
I have gleaned from time to time, and suggestions that 
occur from them. I do not feel myself yet in a position, 
even if I ever am, to set forth anything more than a very 


general idea of the distribution of glacial and other Drift 
in time and space, even in England. I have no faith in 
those minute classifications which of late years have 
come into fashion, depending on the perfection of all 
the links of a complicated theory, any one of which 
proving defective — and few being to my mind 
established beyond cavil — the whole theoretical struc- 
ture falls to the ground. Let us try and place 
the theory of what is called Glacial Geology on a 
firm basis of fact. To do this we must establish each 
position carefully step by step, and not in eagerness 
for discovery jump at conclusions that we are compelled 
at last regretfully to abandon, or else stick to with a 
persistence savouring more of obstinacy than inductive 





By Isaac Eoberts, F.G.S. 

Maghull is situate about six miles to the north-north 
east of Liverpool, and the position to which these notes 
refer is in latitude 53 d 80' 28" north, and 2° 55' 58" 
west longitude, and is distant five miles from the sea. 

Maghull, and the country around it, may be con- 
sidered as a plain 55 feet above mean sea level, for at 
no place within a radius of four miles from the point 
indicated above is there a patch of ground covering an 
area so large as half a square mile, at a much higher 

The lowest land within a radius of four miles are 
Sefton meadows, which are about 22 feet above mean 
sea level, 


The strata about Maghull are Upper Mottled Sand* 
stone, with here and there a covering of Lower Reaper 
Sandstone ; and at Melling, which is distant a mile to 
the south-east of Maghull, is a small outlier of Bunter 
Pebble Beds, which are quarried for building purposes. 
This outlier has been much disturbed, as shewn by the 
faults, fractures, and trough-fault, within a small area 
exposed in the quarry. 

Three years ago I had occasion to supply my house 
with water, and following is a description of the mode 
which I adopted to obtain it. 

The Upper Mottled Sandstone, which here lies 2 feet 
below the surface of the ground, and 62 feet above mean 
sea level, was bored with a hole, 6 inches in diameter, to 
the depth of 48 feet below the surface. 

Within the bore-hole, a continuous tinned Iron pipe, 
5 inches in diameter was placed, and the annular space 
between the pipe and the rock was filled with Portland 
cement. After the cement had hardened, the bore-hole 
(reduced to 4 inches in diameter), was continued to the 
depth of 27 feet below the bottom of the iron pipe, or 75 
feet below the surface of the ground. The water then 
rose up in the pipe to within 11 feet of the surface. 
It will thus be seen that any percolation of water 
from the surface is prevented from entering the bore- 
hole, until it has filtered through at least 48 feet of solid 
rock, for the water can only enter the bore-hole by the 
lower 27 feet of rock. 

In sinking the bore-hole 6 or 7 thin seams of red shale 
were met with, two of them in the lower 27 feet, and 
therefore the water, as it is pumped from the hole, is 
slightly turbid, but after filtration it is sparkling and 
agreeable to the palate. 


Analysis shows the water to contain sulphates, but 
no nitrates or chlorides. 

The permanent hardness in degrees per 

gallon, or in 70,000 parts, is 7*5 

Temporary hardness 5*5 

Total 180 

After filtration the total hardness is 11*5 degrees. 

The yield of the bore-hole, or quantity of water that 
can be pumped out of it in a given time, was tested by 
continuous pumping by two men for a day, when it was 
found that they could only lower the water surface 10 
feet, and if they ceased pumping for a short time the 
water rose to the normal level. Present investigations 
which I am engaged upon show that the normal water 
level varies considerably, and I expect after long con* 
tinued observations, to be able to trace the effect of its 
cause or causes. The locality is well adapted for these 
investigations, for there are no local disturbing causes, 
such as exist in other localities, where a large supply of 
water is abstracted from the rock by pumping. 

The temperature of the water as it emerges from the 
pump is remarkably uniform — it remains constant at 
50° Fahrenheit. 

Three months ago I had occasion to obtain a supply 
of water for domestic purposes, at a house distant one 
and a half miles to the north-north-west from my house, 
and following is a section of the strata : — 

FT. IN. 

Surface Soil 1 6 

PineSand 7 6 

Boulder-clay 2 

Coarse Gravel and Pebbles 1 2 

Boulder-clay 18 10 

Coarse Gravel and Pebbles ,.. 10 




FT. IK. 

Boulder^olay 5 

Lower Keuper Sandstone 40 2 



Total depth 72 

The rock *is* uniformly hard, of a cream colour, and 
without any* seams of shale. 

Following is analysis by Dr. Campbell Brown of the 
water obtained from the well : — 

Total solid matter in solution in 100,000 

parts : 27*4 

Organic Carbon 

„ Nitrogen 

small quantities. 

Ammonia *02 

„ from Organic Matter by distilla-) 
tion with Alkaline permanganate] 

Cpmbined Chlorine 8'55 

Hardness— moderately high, 
f i The normal level of the water in the well is 5 ft. 8 in. 

below the surface of the ground, which is 48 feet above 
mean sea level. 

My objects in bringing this subject before the Society 
are to give a glimpse below a surface that is covered 
with superficial deposits, which are not often removed 
to show what is beneath them, and also to show the large 
supply of water that is yet available for domestic uses 
lying within, and by percolation replaced in, the pores 
of the rock which covers many square miles of this part 
of the country. Had the boring experiment, which was 
tried at Bootle, been tried about Maghull, the promoters 
of that experiment would have had at least a temporary 
triumph, and might have delayed the introduction of a 
more comprehensive scheme for supplying Liverpool with 
water for some years to come ; but I am not suggesting 
that the triumph would have been beneficial or profitable 
to the ratepayers, nor permanent in its character. 







By G. H. MORTON, F.G.S. 



Campbell, Dr. — " Eemarks upon the Inferior Strata 
of the Earth occurring in Lancashire, with some Miscel- 
laneous Observations arising from the Subject/' with a 
coloured Geological Map of the County, by Dr. Wilkinson. 
— Letters and Papers on Agriculture, Planting, dec. 
Selected from the Correspondence of the Bath and West of 
England Society, 1810. 

In a review of " The Progress of Geological Research in connection 
with the Geology of the Country around Liverpool," in the Geol. Mag. t 
Vol. ix., p. 87, Mr. H. B. Woodward remarks : — " This is probably one of 
the earliest attempts to illustrate the Geology of the county of Lancashire." 

Chambers, R., FJR.S.E. — Ancient Sea-Margins, p. 

Contains a description of the successive platforms, or terraces, on 
both sides of the Mersey, and gives the heights and situations. A wood- 
cut represents the terrace on the bank of the Mersey at Beaoombe* . 



Hull, E., B.A., F.G.S — "On the New Subdivisions 
of the Triassic Rocks of the Central Counties." — Trans. 
Mane. Geol. Soc., Vol. ii., p. 22. 

Gives a minute description of the subdivisions of the Trias, and the 
sections around Liverpool where each may be examined. The paper is 
illustrated by a lithographic section, showing " Ideal Section of the Trias 
of Cheshire," <fcc, and a table " Showing the relative thickness of the 
Triassio sub-formations." The great source of all these sedimentary 
strata was from the north and west. 


Hull, E., B.A., F.G.S. — Geological Survey of Great 
Britain.— Hbracwtal Section, Sheet 68. 

Drawn from Little Eye Island in the Estuary of the Dee, on the 
west ; to Horwich Moor, Lancashire, on the east ; by Birkenhead, Liver- 
pool, .Croxteth and Knowsley Parks, Billinge Beacon, and the Wigan 
Coal District ; showing Triassic and Carboniferous Formations. 


Hull, E., B.A., F.G.S. — Geological Survey of Great 
Britain. — Explanation of Horizontal Section, Sheet 68. 

LIST FBOM 1870 TO JUNE, 1881. 

• " " 1869-70. 

Mobton, O. H., F.G.S. — Anniversary Addresses by 
the President, with a List of Papers on " The Geology 
.of ^he' Country around Liverpool." — Proc, Upool Geol 
Soc, Vol. ii., Sess. 11th and 12th. 

; . In these two addresses there is a list of previous papers on the geology 
.of the country around Liverpool, with explanations and critical remarks, 
up to,ttxe date of the last; October, 1870, 




Boult, J., F.R.I.B.A. — " Speculations on the former 
Topography of Liverpool* and its Neighbourhood." — 
Part iii., Proc. Lit. & Phil. Soc. f L'pool, VoL xxv., 
p. 11. 

Origin of names of places. Origin and former condition of the 
Mersey and its tributaries, with remarks on the submarine forest at 


Bostock, R. — "The Mersey and Dee — their former 
Channels and Changes of Level." — Proc. Upool Oeol. 
Soc, Vol. ii., Sess. 11th, p. 41. 

Shows the improbability of several supposed outlets of the Mersey and 
Dee, and concludes that there has not been any change in the course of 
either river. 


Carruthebs, W., F.R.S. — " Remarks on the Fossils 
from the railway cutting at Huyton." — Nature, Vol. ii., 
p. 527. 

Short description communicated to the British Association. 


De Range, C. E., F.G.S. — " Notes on the Geology 
of the Country around Liverpool." — Natiwe, Vol. ii., 
p. 891. 

Gives general Geological description of the district, for members of 
the British Association. 


Eabwakbr, J. P. — "Geological Discovery in Liver- 
pool." — Nature, Vol. ii., p. 897. 

Describes insect remains found at Bavenhead, St. Helens, associated 
with numerous ferns. 



DeEancb, C. E., F.G.S.— "On the Pre-Glacial Geo- 
graphy of Northern Cheshire." — Oeol. Mag., Vol. viii., 
p. 158. 

Describes the pre-glacial form of the land and the plains bordering 
the sea. The Mersey was then a tributary of the Dee, and flowed from 
its present course, opposite Liverpool, westward, between the Bidston and 
Wallasey hills, entering the Dee opposite Mostyn— close to the mountains 
of Wales. 


Higgins, H. H., M.A. — " On some Specimens, sup- 
posed to be Fossils of a Plant named Pycnophyllum 
(Brong. and Schimp.) in the Eavenhead Collection of 
Fossils, Free Public Museum, Liverpool." — Proc. Upool 
Geol. Soc, Vol. ii., Sess. 12th, p. 71. 

A plate with the paper represents the scars and ducts as seen on 
a compressed stem 4 inches in diameter. Concludes that the leaves grew 
in large tufts on a stock, or very short stem. 



Morton, G. H., F.G.S. — " Minerals that occur in the 
neighbourhood of Liverpool, with the localities, &c." — 
Proc. Upool Geol. Soc, Vol. ii., Sess. 13th, p. 92. 

Gives a list of 15 Minerals found in the Triassio sandstone and Coal- 
measures in the immediate neighbourhood of Liverpool. 


Mobton, G. H., F.G.S.— " Shells found in the Glacial 
Deposits around Liverpool, with the Localities, &c." — 
Proc. Upool Geol. Soc, Vol. ii., Sess. 13th, p. 91. 

List of 23 species of Mollusca, found by Dr. Bicketts, F.G.S. , Mr. 
Isaac Eoberts, F.G.S., the Author, <&e., being all observed to the date of 
the paper. 



Robebts, L, F.G.S. — "Effects produced by Eed 
Sandstone upon Salt Water." — Proc. L'pool Oeol. Soc, 
Yol. ii., Sess. 12th, p. 66. 


Farther analyses to prove that much of the water obtained from the j 

wells in different parts of Liverpool is derived from the sea, and that the -• ; ; 

salts held in solution are gradually increasing in quantity. Gives f { / 
analysis of water from a well in Rainford Square in proof. 

Roberts, I., F.G.S. — " Section of Boulder-clay at 
the Gas Works, Linacre, Liverpool." — Proc. Upool Oeol. 
Soc. § Vol. ii., Sess. 12th, p. 68. 

List of Shells from the Boulder-clay at Linacre. The number found 
of each species is given, so that the relative abundance is shown. A bed 
of sand divides the Boulder-clay into two beds — the lower being the most 
compact, and containing a larger number of stones. 


Reade, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.— "The Geology and 
Physics of the Post-Glacial Period, as shown in the 
Deposits and Organic Remains in Lancashire and 
Cheshire." — Proc. Upool Geol. Soc, Vol. ii., Sess. 13th, 
p. 86. 

Contains a very full description of the Coast between the Dee and 
Kibble. The Post-Glacial deposits are minutely described, as well as 
the area they cover. A large coloured map, and numerous sections in 
illustration of the deposits are appended. A copious Appendix, describ- 
ing the sections, is an important addition to the text. 


Higgins, H. H., M.A. — " On some Fossil Perns in 
the Ravenhead Collection, Free Public Museum, Liver- 
pool." — Proc. Upool Geol. Soc, Yol. ii., Sees. 13th, p. 94. 

General remarks on the fossil ferns collected by the author and 
described by Mr. Marrat. No traces of fructification discovered, though 
an examination of rejected specimens was made. 



Hull, E., F.R.S,, F.G.S — "On a Remarkable Fault 
in tho New Red Sandstone of Rainhill, Lancashire."—' 
Jour. Royal Oeol. Soc. Dub., Vol iii., (New Series) p. 73. 

" Further Observations on the Well, St. 

Helens* Lancashire." — Jowr. Royal Oeol. Soc. Dub,, 
Vol. iii, p. 86. 

In sinking for water the fault described was found to hade so con- 
siderably, that another bore-hole became necessary. Only one fault with 
such a great angle known in England — two horizontal to one vertical. 


Mackintosh, D., F.G.S. — " The Age of Floating Ice 
in North Wales — Sea-coast Fringe of mixed Local and 
Northern Drift." — Geol. Mag., Vol. ix., p. 15. 

Although referring principally to North Wales, there are frequent 
references to Lancashire and Cheshire. 


" Correlation of the Scotch and English 


TWi'fta »» n»*i mv./» V/O w « ion* 

Drifts."— Oeol. Mag., Vol ix., p. 190J 

Gives the usual general section of the Drift in the north-west of 
England and part of Wales. 


"On a Sea-Coast Section of Boulder-clay 

in Cheshire." — Quar. Jowr. Oeol. Soc, Vol. xxviii., p. 888. 

Describes the threefold division of the Drift deposits along the 
Cheshire side of the Dee. The Upper Boulder-clay underlain by exten- 
sive and persistent deposits of non-glacial sands and gravel, which repose 
on the Lower Boulder-clay. Each of the clays is minutely described, and in 
some places coalesce. The Lower Boulder-clay is the hardest, and con- 
tains 15 species of Mollusca. 

* Letter on " Calcareously-incrusted Stones in Drift," by the same 
author, at page 144. 


- ■ - ; 1872. 

Masrat, F. P. — "On same Fossil Ferns in the 
Ravenhead Collection." — Proc. Upool Oeol. Soc, Vol, ii., 
Sess. 13th, p. 96. 

Gives a list of 62 species of ferns from Kavenhead, of which eight 
are new species, and were named by Mr. Marrat. Thirteen lithographic 
plates contain the new species, and many of the most interesting species 
previously described. 


Morton, G. H., F.G.S.— "The Strata below the 
Trias in the Country around Liverpool; and the 
probability of Coal occurring at a moderate depth/' — 
Proc. Lit. <£ Phil. Soc, Upool, Vol. xxvii., p. 157. 

Gives sections showing the Coal-measures thrown up against the *'\ 


Banter Pebble-beds, proving the continuation of the former below the 
Trias. The thickness of the Pebble-beds 350 feet, and the base along 
line of Shaw-street fault. Supposed coal might be found at the depth of * ' 
2,000 feet. 


Reads, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.— " Glacial Striae at 
Miller's Bridge, Bootle, Liverpool." — Proc. Upool Oeol. 
Soc, Vol. ii., Sess. 14th, p. 81. 


Eeade, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.— "The Post-Glacial 
Geology and Physiography of West Lancashire and the 
Mersey Estuary." — Geol. Mag., Vol. ix., p. 111. 

An abridgement of the paper with a similar title, read before, and 
, printed in the Proc. L'pool Oeol. Soc, 1871, all re-written, except the 
final conclusions, whioh are the same. 


Roberts, I., F.G.S. — "Section of Strata above the 
Boulder-clay at Whitechapel, Liverpool."— Proc. Upool 
Oeol. Soc, Vol ii., Sess. 14th, p. 82. 



Roberts, L, F.G.S. — "The Excavations in White- 
chapel, Liverpool." — Proc. Lit. <t Phil. Soc, L'pool, 

Vol. xxvii., p. 57. 

Gives section of Peat and Bine-clay, resting on Boulder-clay. 



Boult, J., F.R.I.B.A. — " The Mersey as known to 
the Romans." — Proc. Lit dtPhil. Soc, L'pool, Vol. xxvii., 
p. 249. 

«*' Examines the evidences in support of Dr. Ormerod's opinion, that 

the upland waters of the Mersey formerly flowed through Wirral into the 

Dee. Gives numerous reasons for supposing that the estuary of the 

\ \ Mersey was a fresh-water lake during the Roman period, and that the 

outlet opposite Liverpool was formed by the tides in the 13th century. 


De Rance, C. E., F.G.S., and Reade, T. M., F.G.S. 
'• Cyclas and Scrobicularig, Clays of the South- West of 
Lancashire." — Geol. Mag., Vol. x., pp. 139, 187, 238, 

Correspondence on the Marine or Freshwater character of the 
beds ; giving the conclusions of the authors more fully than in their 
respective papers. 


Mackintosh, D., P.G.S. — " Observations on the more 
remarkable Boulders of the North-West of England, and 
the Welsh Boulders." — Quar.Jour. Geol. Soc, Vol. xxix., 
p. 351. 

Principally describes districts beyond the Liverpool area ; but there 
is a reference to the Lower Boulder-clay at Dawpool. A map illustrates 
the distribution of Boulders in the North- West of England, inoluding 
tire and Cheshire. 




Eeadb, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.— " The Buried Valley of the 
Mersey." — Proc. Upool Geol. Soc, Vol. ii., Sess. 14th, 
p. 42. 

Numerous borings in many localities, proving the depth of the rook 
from the surface. Informed that usually there are more stones in the 
lower clay. Directs attention to the frequent occurrence of pebbles lying 
on the rock. Speaks of evidences of the country having been covered by 
an ice-cap in Glacial times, and that the Mersey was widened and perhaps 
deepened by the passage of such ice over it. 


Eeports of the committee appointed for registering 
the Erratic Blocks and Boulders in the United Kingdom." 
— Rep. Brit. Assoc, Vols, xliii-1. 

Contains notices of large boulders in the country around Liverpool, by 
G. H. Morton, F.G.S., Vol. xlv., p. 82. Boulders at Dawpool and Bootle, 
by D. Mackintosh, F.G.S., Vol. xlvii. p. 82, and Vol. xlxix., p. 138. 

Section of Lower and Upper Boulder-clay, by G. H. Morton, F.G.S., 
Vol. xlvi., p. 110. Describes section at new docks, Bootle, near 
Liverpool. Sand and Silt — Old Bootle Shore; Upper Boulder-clay; 
Sand and Gravel; Lower Boulder-clay. The middle Sand and Gravel 
often thin out and leave the Upper Boulder-clay reposing on the Lower- 
clay. Site of excavation reclaimed from the shore within the tidal 


Boult, J., F.B.LB.A* — "The Deterioration of the 
Mersey." — Trans. Hist. Soc. of Lane, and Ches., Vol. xxvi., 
p. 29. 

Describes scouring power of the water through the narrow entrance 
of the river. Clay cliffs along the banks rapidly wasting away, and the 
principal source of the silt in suspension. The probable amountof sedi- 
ment is indicated. 

* Also described in the Geol. Mag., Vol. ziii., p. 526. Letters on the 
section will be found in the same volume, by Mackintosh at p. 429-528 ; 
Beade, 480 ; and again in Vol. xiv.,— Beade, at p. 88 ; Mackintosh at 
pp. 94 and 575. 



Beams, T. M., C.E., F.G.S. — "The Glacial and 
Post-Glacial Deposits of Garston and the Surrounding 
District, with Remarks on the Structure of the Boulder- 
clay." — Proc. Ujpool Geol. Soc, Vol. iii., p. 19. 

Describes Ground Moraine, a local deposit at Garston. Continuous 
deposit of the Low Level Marine Boulder-clay and Sands. Sand and 
gravel frequent in the sections of Boulder-clay. Most stones toward the 
base. Species of shell-fragments described. Character and proportion 
of erratic stones and boulders. Post-Glacial beds. 

Readb, T. M., F.G.S.— "On the Drift-beds of the 
North-West of England. Part I, Shells of the Lan- 
cashire and Cheshire Low-level Boulder-clay and sands." 
— Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc, Vol. xxx, p. 27. 

Gives typical section of Low-level Boulder-clay and sand at Bootle 
Lane Station. Ice-sheet striated rock surfaces. A break occurs 
between the formation of the stria, and the deposition of the Boulder-clay 
described. No older beds than the Low-level Boulder-clay had been found. 
Mode of occurrence and range of Mollusca described, and list of 44 
species given in table, with numerous references. 

Shone, W., P.G.S. — "On the discovery of Fora- 
minifera, &c, in the Boulder-clay of Cheshire." — Quar. 
Jour. Geol. Soc, Vol. xxx., p. 181. 

Adheres to Mr. Mackintosh's arrangement of the drift days of 
Cheshire, which he considers a most accurate, full and exact account of the 
lithological and stratigraphical description of the beds. Foraminifera 
occur in both the Upper and Lower Boulder-clay, but more fossilized in the 

Db Eance, C. E., F.G.S.— " On the Belative Age of 
some of the Valleys in the North and South of England, 
and of the various and Post-Glacial Deposits occurring 
in them." — Proc. Geol. Assoc, Vol. iv., p. 221* 

Describes Glacial and Post-Glacial Drifts of South-West Lancashire, 
and gives wood-cut section from Southport to Ormskirk, showing 
Boulder-clay and more recent deposits. 



Pottbb, C. — u Observations on the Geology and 
Archeology of the Cheshire shore." — Trans. Hist. Soc. of 
Lane, and Ches., Vol. xxviii., p. 121. 

Gives a section of the Lower Forest-bed, and superior beds of peat, 
silt, and sand. Stamps and trunks of the embedded trees deposited in 
water with the peat, as now seen. No appearances of rootlet have been 

"Keports of the Committee appointed for investi- 
gating the Circulation of Underground Waters in the 
New Bed Sandstone." — Rep. Brit. Assoc, Vols, xlv.-l. 

Contain much information respecting water supply and strata around 
Liverpool. " On the South Lancashire Wells," by T. M. Beade, F.G.S., 
Vol. xlvii., p. 56. " Rainfall at Sandfield Park, Lancashire," 1865-74, j 
by Mr. Briggs, Vol. xlvii., p. 81. •» Strata penetrated by the Bootle 
Bore-hole," by 0. E. de Bance, F.G.S., Vols, xlviii., xlix., 1. "Experi- | I 
ments on the Filtration of Sea- water through Triassic Sandstone, 1 ' by 
Isaao Roberts, F.G.S., Vol. xlviii., p. 397. " Report on the Water in the 
Triassic sandstone at West Kirby, Cheshire," by Isaao Boberts, F.G.S., 
Vol. xlix., p. 159. " Section of Trias down to the Coal-measures," by 
C. E. de Banoe, F.G.S., Vol. 1., p. 87. 


Boult, J., F.B.I.B.A. — "An Enquiry into the Source 
of Water in the New Eed Sandstone." (Parts 1 and 2.) 

— Jour. 1! pool Polyt. Soc. 

Gives a valuable table showing the position and yield of water of the 
numerous wells around Liverpool. The paper contains a large amount 
of information on the local water supply, and in the account of the 
discussion the opinions of many others are given. * 


Dawkins, W. Boyd, M.A., P.E.S., F.G.S.— " On the 

water supply in the Bed Bocks of Lancashire and 

Cheshire." — Trans. Mane. Geol. Soc, Vol. xiv., p. 188. 

\ # 

Gives a table, showing the thickness of the subdivisions of the Trias \ /; 

in Cheshire and Lancashire, and describes the condition under which the >. 

water is stored up in the strata. Befers to faults; the amount of / 
percolation ; and suggests that deep wells would increase the supply. 


Db Rance, C. E., F.G.S.— "On the Variation in 
Thickness of the Middle Goal-measures of the Wigan 
Coal-field," — Rep. Brit. Assoc, Vol. xlvi., p. 89. 

Wigan Coal-field not merely a synclinal of subsidence, bat one of 
deposition. Goal-measures are thinner at Prescot than at Wigan, and 
thinner still at Burnley. 

Eeade, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.— "The Formhy and 
Leasowe Marine Beds, as shown in a section near 
Freshfield." — Proc. Upool Geol. Soc, Vol. iii., p. 120. 

Gives section near Formby Hall, and refers to mammalia bones with 
shells found there and elsewhere in corresponding beds. 

Eeade, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.—" Glacial Striations at 
Little Crosby." — Proc. Upool Geol. Soc, Vol. iii., p. 241. 

Whitaker, W., B.A., F.G.S.— "List of Works on the 
Geology, Mineralogy, and Palaeontology of Cheshire." — 
Proc. Upool Geol. Soc. } Vol. iii., p. 127. 

A chronological arrangement adopted, ending with the year 1873, 
when tlie publication of the Geological Record began. 

De Bance, C. E., F.G.S. — "Memoirs of the Geological 
Survey of England and Wales." — The Superficial Geology 
of the Country adjoining the Coasts of South-West Lan- 


Describes Modern Marine deposits and blown sand, Roman and other 
antiquities bearing on the Geology of the district, Estuarine days, 
Peat mosses and submerged forests, Shirdley Hill Sand, Lower Sorobi- 
eularia and Cyolas Clays, particularly at the mouth of the River Alt, of 
which a section is given. 


glacial ubift deposits. 

Describes Physical Geography, and sequence of Geological Events ; — 
Moraines — Glaciers in N. Wales and Lake district, and deeper valleys of 
Pennine Hills. Upper Boulder-clay — Coast-ice, drift from the North- 
west. Middle Drift Sand — Tidal-currents, local drift. Lower Boulder- 
clay — Sea and ice-foot, drift from the North-west. Till—Lower 
Moraine Drift, large glaciers and ice-sheet. 

The only sections described in the Liverpool area are at Preston- 
road Station, and Litherland Bridge and Gas Works, both Upper 
Boulder-clay with interstratified bed of sand. 

The Lower Boulder-clay in the Valley of the Mersey never forms the 
surface, and only occurs at the base of deep cliffs, or valley sections. It is 
seldom met with in excavations, and no exposure of the Lower Boulder- 
clay near Liverpool is given, but it is assumed to underlie the Upper 
Boulder -olay. Striated surfaces described. List of shells, 43 species, 
in the Lower Boulder-clay in the Liverpool area, and 90 species in 
Upper and Lower, including surrounding counties and North Wales. 


De Kance, C. E., P.G.S.— "On the Correlation of 
certain Post-Glacial Deposits in West Lancashire." — Rep. 
Brit. Assoc, Vol. xlvii., p. 68. 

Denudation of the Boulder-clay from the Valley of the Mersey to that 
of the Bibble, followed by the deposition of beds of sand, peat, and silt. 


De Eance, C. E., F.G.S. — "On the variation in 
thickness of the Goals and Measures of the Lancashire 
Coalfield." — Trans. Mane. Geol. Soc, Vol. xiv., p. 207. 

Describes a number of Colliery sections from Frescot — through 
Wigan — to Burnley, being an explanation of the Vertical Section, No. f f 
61, of the West Lancashire Coal-field by the Geol. Survey. The sections j 

show the gradual decrease in thickness of the Coal-measures along 
the line of country referred to, and much information is given respect- |f i 
ing the Millstone Grit, and the numerous important faults which fracture, 
the Coal-measures. 





; Mackintosh, D., F.G.S. — "On a number of New 
Sections around the Estuary of the Dee, which exhibit 
Phenomena having an important bearing on the origin 
of Boulder-clay and the sequence of Glacial Events." — 
Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc, Vol. xxxiii., p. 780. 

Notices the straight or undulating line of junction between the Upper 
and Lower Boulder-clays, along the shore of the Dee. Describes the 
Boulders and mode of occurrence. Confirms the observations of Mr. 
De Ranee, F.G.S. , as to the section of Upper and Lower Clays at Egre- 
mont Ferry. The Lower Boulder-clay at the New Dock sections, near 
Bootle, is harder than the Upper Clay, and a section shows the three 
divisions originally described by Mr. Morton, F.G.S. Describes a similar 
section at Birkenhead. Materials of the Lower Clay used-up in the accu- 
mulation of the Middle Drift, which, however, has frequently in its turn 
been denuded. 


Mokton, G. H., F.G.S.— "The Glacial Stria of the 
Country around Liverpool." — Proc. L'pool Geol. Soc, 
Vol. iii., p. 284. 

Contains a Table showing the great variation in the direction of the 
striffi on the sandstone around Liverpool. Books striated early in 
Glacial period by floating ice. Upper and Lower Boulder-clays deposited 
in deep water, but the middle sands and gravels indicate an interval when 
shallow water prevailed. 


Eiceetts, C, M.D., F.G.S. — " The Conditions existing 
during the Glacial Period, with an account of Glacial 
Deposits between Tranmere . and Oxton, Cheshire."-^- 
Proc. L'pool Geol. Soc, Vol. iii., p. 245. 

Glacier in the Valley of the Mersey, and a tributary one in the Happy 
Valley. Describes moraine accumulations, and gives very minute details. 
Boulder-elay formed by the degradation of local rooks, and embedded 
stones deposited from icebergs. 


Dawkins, W. Boyd, F.R.S.— Review of " The Super- 
ficial Geology of South-West Lancashire." — Nature, 
Vol. xviii., p. 561. 

No important physical difference between the Upper and Lower 
Boulder-clays ; lenticular beds of sand and gravel intercalated here and 
there in the Boulder-clay. Considers the large size of trees in peat bogs 
may be accounted for by the shelter afforded in a primeval forest. 

De Range, C. E., F.G.S. — " On the Lancashire Coal- 


Fields."— Proc. Geol. Assoc, Vol, v, p. 889. \ 

Describes the Millstone Grit and Goal-measures, but particularly of I 
the south-west of Lancashire. 

De Range, G. E., F.G.S., and Strahan, A., B.A., 
F.G.S. — Geological Survey of England and Wales. 
West Lancashire CoaUField. Sections of Shafts sunk in 
the Middle Goal-measures of Prescot, St. Helens, Wigan 
and Burnley. 

The Arley Mine is adopted as the datum line, and the sections are 
drawn on the scale of 100 feet = 1 inch. Sections at ten collieries are 
given and an Index Map shows the position of each. 

Mackintosh, D., F.G.S. — "Results of a Systematic 
Survey in 1878 of the Direction and Limits of Disper- 
sion, Mode of Occurrence and Relation to Drift-deposits 
of the Erratic Blocks, or Boulders of the West of 
England and East of Wales; including a Revision of 
many Years' Previous Observations." — Quar. Jour. Geol. 
Soc. f Vol. xxxv., p. 425. 

Describes dispersion of boulders over a large portion of the west of 
England and North Wales, illustrated by a large map. Befers to Upper 
and Lower Boulder-clays, and " striated pavement " at Dawpool. 
Striated surfaces around Liverpool and Birkenhead, covered by Upper 
Boulder-clay, and both clays deposited by means of floating ice. No 
evidence of the existence of land-ice. 






Morton, G. H., F.G.S.— " Notice of Drift-beds 
observed in sinking for water at Aughton, near Ormskirk." 

i — Proc. L'pool Geol. Soc, Vol. iii., p. 370. 

\ \ Section of Upper Boulder-clay, gravel and sand. Fire feet of 

\ \ " Stoney Boulder-clay " near the bottom closely resembled the Lower 
\ V Boulder-clay observed in the excavations at the North Docks, and 
described Rep. Brit. A$$oc., Vol. xlvi, p. 112. 


Reade, T. M., P.G.S.— " The Submarine Forest at 
the Alt Mouth." — Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc, Vol. xxxiv., 
p. 447. 

Describes the digging out and uprooting of one of the stools of the 
trees in the presence of several witnesses, with particular description 
of it — the object being to prove that the trees had grown on the spot 
where they now occur. 


Reade, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.— " Some further notes 
on the Submarine Forest at the Alt Mouth." — Proc. 
Upool Geol. Soc 9 Vol. iii., p. 862. 

Describes roots and stools of trees in various stages of decay. 
Remains of trees of successive growth, and at varying distances apart. 
A swamp, or bog, succeeded the forest. Replies to Messrs. Boult and 
Potter, who argue that the trees are not in situ. 


Reade, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.— " On a Section through 
Glazebrook Moss, Lancashire." — Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc., 
Vol. xxxiv., p. 808. 

Gives a minute description of the peat-moss through which the 
railway was excavated. Numerous stools of trees in their original 
position, broken off near the base. Some prostrate trunks, 46 and 60 
feet in length. The peat rests on Boulder-clay. 



Readb, T. M., C.E., F.G.S.— " The Trees of the Post- 
Glacial Forest Beds in the neighbourhood of Liverpool." 
— Trans. Hist. Soc. of Lane. <t Ches., Vol. xxx., p. 27. 

Another account of the digging ont of the stool of a tree at the Alt 
month, in the presence of several witnesses, and finding numerous 
rootlets, indicating growth in situ. 


Ricketts, C, M.D., F.G.S. — " On some Remarkable 
Pebbles in the Boulder-clay.' ' — Proc. L'pool Oeol. Soc, 
Vol. iv., p. 10. 

"On some Remarkable Pebbles in the 

Boulder-clay of Cheshire and Lancashire." — Rep. Brit. 
Assoc, Vol. xlix., p. 889. 

Erratic pebbles, ice-marked and otherwise eroded, abundant in the 
Boulder-clay of Lancashire and Cheshire. Some have been weathered 
under exceptional circumstances, probably in moraines on land, and 
afterwards carried away by icebergs and were deposited in the Boulder- 


Shone, W., F.G.S. — "On the Glacial Deposits of 
West Cheshire, together with Lists of the Fauna found 
in the Drift of Cheshire and adjoining Counties."— Qitar. 
Jour. Oeol. Soc, Vol. xxxiv., p. 883. 

Stratigraphical portion relates principally to the three drifts exposed 
near Chester, though Dawpool is referred to. Gives lists of the Molluscs, 
Ostracoda and Foraminifera from the Drift in various localities in 
Cheshire, Lancashire, Salop, and N. Wales, after correcting the errors 
in the list of shells in the Survey publication. Most of the shells referred 
to the Lower Boulder-clay by Mr. De Ranee, are given as Upper Boulder- 




Brown, J. C., D. Sc, P.C.S.— " Analyses of Rocks 
from the 1,800 feet deep Bore-hole at Bootle." — Proc. 
L'pool Geol. Soc, Vol. iv., p. 68. 

Gives analyses of one specimen of sandstone forming the Pebble beds, 
and two of the Lower Banter. 


De Range, C. E., P.6.S. — "Notes on some Triassic 
Borings." — Tram. Mane. Geol. Soc, Vol. xv., p. 90. 


De Rance, C. E., P.G.S.— "Further Notes of Triassic 
Borings near Warrington." — Trans. Mane. Geol. Soc., 
Vol. xv., p. 888. 

Contain journals of several important borings, including Dallam 
Lane Forge, Warrington, and Winwiok. A description of the boring at 
Bootle, and a reference to one at Parkside. 


Hull, E., LL.D., F.R.S. — "South Lancashire Coal 
field."— The Coal Fields of Great Britain, 4th Ed., Chap. 

• • • 


Contains a description of the South Lancashire Coal field. Sections 
of strata at St. Helens and Wigan, lists of the fossils, and a Map of the 


Phillips, J. A., F.G.S. — "On the Constitution and 
History of Grits and Sandstones." — Quar. Jour. Geol. 
Soc., Vol. xxxvii., p. 6. 

Results of microscopic examination of several Triassic sandstones in 
the neighbourhood of Liverpool, including the millet-seed beds, which 
the author considers to have been derived from blown san4 T 



Eeadb, T.M., C.E., F.G.S.— " The Date of the last 
Change of Level in Lancashire." — Ab*. Proc. Geol. 
Soc, No. 402, p. 64. 

States that the land is now gaining upon the sea. Calculates the 
rate at which the sand at Blundellsands accumulates. Concludes that 
there has been no recent subsidence of the coast of South-west Lancashire. 







A. C. RAMSAY, F.R.S., F.G.S., London. 

JOHN MORRIS, F.G.S., London. 


EDWARD W. BINNEY, F.R.S., F.G.S., Douglas, Isle of Man. 


HENRY HICKS, F.G.S., M.R.C.S.E., London. 

W. KING, D.Sc, Queen's College, Galway. 

JOHN W. JUDD, F.R.S , F.G.S., London. 


ADDISON, W. H., Deaf and Dumb Institute, Oxford Street. 
ARCHER, F., B.A., Boundary Cottage, Crosby. 

14, Cook Street.^ 
BARRETT, W. S., Winton Lodge, Yiotoria Road, Great Crosby. 
•fBEASLEY, H., Acre- field House, Woolton. 

* BOSTOCK, R., 8, Grange Lane, Birkenhead. 
BRAMALL, H., 3, Balmoral Road. 

BROWN, C. H., Low-wood, Alexandra Road, Southport. 

* BROWN, J. CAMPBELL, D.Sc, F.C.S., 27, Abercromby Square. 
COOGAN, P. M., C.E., 28, Green Lawn, Rock Ferry. 
DAVIES, C, 8, Kinglake Street, Edge Hill. 

PQDD, J. f 2, Derby Terrace, Rook Ferry. 


DOWEN, Z. T., Rev., 20, Oriel Road, Bootle. 

• fESKRIGGE, R. A., F.G.S., The Woodlands, New Brighton. 

18, Haokin's Hey. 
FITZPATRICK, M., 62, Seel Street. 
FITZPATRICK, J. J., 62, Seel Street, 
t FOSTER, E., 7, Newstead Road, Smithdown Lane. 
FOSTER, R. M., 34, Oxford Road, Waterloo. 
GREEN, A., York House, Old Chester Road, Rock Ferry. 

9, Canning Place. 
GRIFFITHS, J., 4, Exton Park, Chester. 
•HALL, H. F., F.G.S., Green Heys, Grove Road, Wallasey. 

17, Dale Street. 
HANCE, E. W., LL.B., Municipal Offices, Dale Street. 
HATHAWAY, T., C.E., The Mount, Bangor, North Wales. 
•HIGGINS, H. H., Rev., M.A., Rainhill. 
HEWITT, W., B.Sc., 67, White Rock Street. 
JACKSON, G. O., 15, Trafalgar Road, Birkdale, Sonthport. 
JOHNSON, J. H., F.G.S., 64, Albert Road, Sonthport. 
JONES, T., Top Lane, Wallasey. 

Orange Court, Castle Street. 
LEA, T., Vale Cottage, Huyton Quarry. 
LEIGH-GREGSON, S., Aigburth Road. 

Slater Court, 5, Castle Street. 
LIGHTBODY, J. H., Birohfield, Sefton Drive. 

* MACKINTOSH, D., F.G.S., 32, Whitford Road, Higher Tranmere. 
•McCLAY, J. L., Rose Villa, Victoria Road, Oxton. 
*MARRAT, F. P., 21, Kinglake Street. 

MAYER, J., F.S.A., Pennant House, Lower Bebington. 
•MOORE, T. J., C.M.Z.S.L., Newshain Drive, Newsham Park. 

Liverpool Museum. 
•MORGAN, ALFRED, 2, Rathbone Terrace, Wellington Road, Wavertree. 

26, North John Street. 
MORTIMER, Captain, Liverpool. 
•fMORTON, G. H., F.G.S., F.R.G.S.L (Hon. Secretary), 10, Sheil 

Road. 122, London Road. 

fMOTT, C. G., Sunnyside, Cavendish Road, Birkenhead. 
McMILLAN, A., Conway, North Wales. 
PATERSON, J., Palmyra Street, Warrington. 
PEARSE, W., 21, Harrington Street. 

Green Bank Farm, Wavertree. 
*t PICTON, J. A., F.S.A., Sandy Enowe, Wavertree. 

4 and 5, Queen Buildings, Dale Street. 


•POTTER, C., 101, Miles Street. 

PEARSON, J. E., Oolborne Park, near Newton-le- Willows. 
QUILLIAM, W. H., 49, Rufford Road, Fairfield. 
*fREADE, T. M., G.E., F.G.S., Park Corner, Blnndellsands. 

Canning Chambers, 4, South John Street. 
♦fRICKETTS, C, M.D., F.G.S., 22, Argyle Street, Birkenhead. 
•fROBERTS, L, F.G.S., Eennessee, Maghull, Lancashire. 

39, Gardner's Row. 
RICHARDSON, W. A., Holt Hill, Tranmere. 
ROBINSON, J. J., Blnndellsands Road, Great Crosby. 
SHONE, W., F.G.S., Upton Park, Chester. 
•SEMMONS, W., 57, Graeechnroh Street, London, E.C. 
STONE, R., Jan., Newton Park, Newton-le- Willows. 
STBONGITHARM, G., 77, Whetstone Lane, Tranmere. 
SPARGO, E., Bangor, North Wales. 
SHERLOCK, C, 63, South John Street. 
TIMMINS, A., C.E., Hill House, Runcorn. 
VEEVERS, S. v Huyton. 
WILSON, W. H., St. Michael's Hamlet, Aigburth. 

31, Wapping. 
WRIGHT, B. M., F.R. Hist. Soc., 90, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, 

WARD, T., Northwioh, Cheshire. 
WARD, J. R., 57, Garth Road, Bangor, North Wales. 
YOUNG, H. (Hon. Treasurer), 12, South Castle Street. 


MORGAN, Mrs., 2, Rathbone Terrace, Wellington Road, Wavertree. 
MORTON, Miss, S.E., 10, Sheil Road, Elm Park. 
ROBERTS, Mrs., Kennessee, Maghull, Lancashire. 

* Have read Papers before the Society, 
f Contribute annually to the Printing Fund. 



I'tojrpwl ^ofoafotl $<M4& 



J£dited by p. ji. J&O^TON, 

(The Authors having revised their own Papers, are alone responsible 
for the facts and opinions expressed in them,) 




OFFICEKS, 1881-2. 







Honorary Treasurer, 


honorary librarian, 


honorary Secretary 










Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. 
Belfast Naturalists' Field Club. 
Birkenhead Free Public Library. 

Do. Literary and Scientific Club. 
British Museum, 
Bristol Naturalists' Society. 
Bodleian Library, Oxford. 
Boston* Society of Natural History, U.S. 
Chester Society of Natural Science. 
Dudley and Midland Geological and Scientific Society. 
Epping Forest and County of Essex Naturalists' Field Club. 
Editor of " Geological Record." 

„ " Geological Magazine." 

„ " Nature." 

„ " Science Gossip." 
Geological Survey of Belgium. 
Geological Society of Edinburgh. 

Geological Society of Glasgow. • ■ 

Geological Survey of India. 
Geological Society of London. 
Geological Society of Manchester. 
Geological Survey of the United States. 
Geological and Polytechnic Society of the West Biding of 

Yorkshire, Leeds. 
Geological Association, Liverpool. 
Geologists' Association, London. 
Glasgow Philosophical Society. 
Hayden, Dr., United States. 
Koninck, L. G, de., Prof,, Liege, 


Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. 
Liverpool Athenaeum. 

Chemists' Association. 

Free Public Library. 

Geological Association. 

Literary and Philosophical Society. 

Lyceum Library. 

Philomathic Society. 

Polytechnic Society. 
L'Universite Eoyal de Norvege, Christiana. 
Minnesota Academy of Natural Science, Minneapolis, U.S. 
Musee Eoyal D'Histoire Naturelle de Belgique. 
Museum of Practical Geology. 
North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical 

Orleans County Society of Natural Science, Vermont, U.S. 
Owens College, Manchester. 
Eoyal Dublin Society. 

Eoyal Geological Society of Ireland, Dublin. 
Eoyal Society, London. 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, U.S. 
Societe Geologique de Belgique, Liege. 
Societe Geologique du Nord, Lille. 
Toscana Societa di Scienza Naturali. 
University Library, Cambridge. 
Warwickshire Natural History and Archaeological Society, 

Watford Natural History Society. 





OCTOBER 11th, 1881. 

The President, Dr. J. CAMPBELL BROWN, F.C.S., 
in the Chair. 

The Officers and Council for the ensuing year were 
elected, and the Treasurer read his Annual Report, 
which had been audited by Mr. Isaac Roberts and Mr. 
Henry Beasley. 

The following papers were then read :— 


By G. H. Morton, F.G.S. 

The Author described the fall of this Aerolite, and read an account 
of it, by Prof. Herschel, in the ** Newcastle Daily Chronicle," March 
30th, 1881. The Aerolite, and the earth containing the hole it made 
in falling, were exhibited at the Meeting of the British Association, at 
York, in the same year. Since that time, a full account of it has 
appeared in the " Report of a Committee, on Observations of Luminous 
Meteors during the year 1880-1." Appendix II. — On the Fall of an 
Aerolite near Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, March 14th, 1881, by A. S. 
Herschel, M.A., F.R.A.S.— " Kept. Proc. Brit. Assoc," p. 296. An 
exhaustive description having appeared in a work of such easy refer- 
ence, the Author considered it superfluous to repeat it here. 



By Charles Ricketts, M.D., F.G.S. 

NOVEMBER 8th, 1881. 

The President, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

Hopkin Thomas was elected an Ordinary Member. 

The following paper was read : — 



By Daniel Mackintosh, F.G.S. 

DECEMBER 18th, 1881. 

The President, DANIEL MACKINTOSH,, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

George Tate, Ph.D., F.G.S., F.C.S., was elected 
an Ordinary Member. 

Mrs. T. Mellard Reade was elected an Associate. 

The following papers were read : — 


By T. Mellard Reade, C.E., F.G.S. 



By Thomas Ward. 


JANUAEY 10th, 1882. 

The President, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

The following paper was read : — 


By G. H. Morton, F.G.S. 

FEBRUARY 14th, 1882. 

The President, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

The following paper was read : — 


By G. H. Morton, F.G.S. 

MARCH 14th, 1882. 

The President, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

The following paper was read : — 



By T. Mellard Reade, C.E., F.G.S. 

' &67 



By D. Mackintosh, F.G.S. 

Dubing a number of visits to Crewe Railway Station in 
1879-80, 1 had opportunities of examining sections and 
specimens of an exceedingly fine and (when damp) more 
or less flexible kind of book or leaf clay. They were 
exposed in excavations for underground passages and 
drains. I did not see the bottom of the leaf-clay, but 
Mr. Andrews (assistant engineer) informed me that he 
had seen it resting on quicksand. The clay, within a 
vertical extent of about a foot, graduated into very 
typical and undisturbed upper Boulder-clay, about ten 
feet in thickness. 

This leaf-clay is evidently on the same horizon as 
numerous similar deposits which may be seen in many 
parts of Cheshire and Lancashire, at or towards the base 
of the upper Boulder-clay* and which range as low down 
as the present sea-level. In many places these deposits 
show ripple-marks of a kind which must have been 
formed in very shallow water, though I did not see any 
ripple-marks on the clay at Crewe Railway Station. 

The leaf-clay under notice is the finest of any yet 
examined by the well-known foraminiferist, Mr. Siddall, 
of Chester, who found in it a shallow or brackish- water 
species of Foraminifera, namely, Polystomelh, striato- 
punctata. The lamin© of which the clay is composed 
are generally very thin, but they can easily be separated, 
owing to an intervening sprinkling of sand, which, at 
intervals, may have been distributed by shallow currents 
of water, or blown by wind (see sequel J. 

268 * 

One of the most striking features of the leaf-clay is 
the extent to which the surfaces of the laminae are 
pitted. I have little doubt that some of the pits (espe- 
cially those steeper on one side than on the other) were 
produced by rain when the surfaces of the lamin© were 
above water ; but in most instances they can be better 
explained by supposing the escape of imprisoned bubbles 
of air; and Mr. Siddall believes that he has seen a 
confirmation of this theory of their origin in experi- 
menting with the clay while dissolved in water contained 
in glass bottles. 

Clay, very similar to that found under Crewe Eailway 
Station, may now be seen in course of accumulation along 
the shores of some parts of the estuary of the Mersey, and 
more especially in the back-waters of the Menai Strait ; 
and Mr. Siddall is of opinion that the Crewe leaf-clay was 
deposited within the tidal range; but while believing 
that it may have been partly formed between high and 
low water, I have seen very similar clayey laminaS with 
intercalated sprinklings of sand, and pits left by air- 
bubbles (besides rain-pits) at some distance from the sea. 
Around Birkenhead (and I have no doubt elsewhere), 
at the bottom of excavations made for obtaining clay for 
making bricks, rainwater, assisted by wind, has produced 
a laminated clay very similar, in the respects already 
named, to that found under Crewe Eailway Station, 
with the addition of marks (in the Birkenhead excava- 
tions certainly, and at Crewe probably,) left by the 
crawling of worms. 

During his microscopic examinations of the Crewe 
leaf- clay, Mr. Siddall found the debris of plants, includ- 
ing rootlets, one of which certainly was in the position 
in which it grew, as it extended through the clayey 
laminae in a direction at nearly right angles to the planes 

■eUirtf tiit,- t^pefeis afAenre. 






»- \_ 


of lamination ; in other words, it occupied a position in 
which a drifted specimen could not well have remained 
had the laminae been accumulated around it by currents 
of water. 

From all the above facts and considerations, I think 
it may be regarded as highly probable, if not certain, 
that in Cheshire, the land before the commencement of 
the submergence which accumulated the upper Boulder- 
clay, with its intensely striated stones, stood at a level 
not much lower than it does at the present day. 


By T. Mellard Reade. C.E., F.G.S., F.R.I.B.A. 

This Section commences at a point on the banks of the 
River Alt, about 1,300 feet below the floodgates. The 
mouth of the outlet sewer is about four feet above 
Ordnance Datum, from whence it rises, *in a distance 
of 70 feet, to eight feet above Ordnance Datum. It then 
continues at a uniform gradient at 1 in 400 across the 
railway at Hightown Station, and along the highway 
called Sandy Lane, a total distance of 2,303 feet. At 
the present moment, November 2, 1881, the sewer has 
been laid nearly up to the railway, and the cutting 
extends a short distance along Sandy Lane. 

It will be seen from this description that the cutting 
would prove a crucial test as to whether, and if so, in 
what way, the submarine Peat and Forest-Bed is con- 



nected with the inland exposure of peat, as I have stated 
it is, in my " Post Glacial Geology of Lancashire and 

In laying the outlet pipes in the river bank from A toB, 
only blue, slutchy clay was met with ; but in a side trench 
made for draining the main trench at a depth of 3 feet 
6 inches, and lying upon a bed of sand, human remains 
were found, consisting of the lower jaw containing four 
grinders, the left humerus, and the right radius. 

No peat was met with until about 140 feet of trench 
was opened, when it came in as a feather edge ; the first 
part lay upon hard sand, but at manhole No. 2 it was 
2 feet 6 inches thick, and lay upon " Scotch " or blue silt, 
which was excavated into 5 feet. Beyond this, tree stumps 
were embedded in the peat. The peat then thinned out 
until it was nearly lost, and here it was upon _hard, 
white sand. The level at this point was about 15 feet 
above Ordnance Datum. The peat here thickened out 
suddenly, and at manhole No. 3 an oak stump was 
taken out. At 18 feet further along, where the water was 
stanked up, the peat, with roots of trees below washed 
clean by the run of water out of the trench, was very 
prettily displayed. 

At 30 feet beyond manhole No. 3, two small pieces 
of bone were taken out from between the peat and the 
underlying sand. Mr. Moore says they are fragmentary 
pieces of the pelvis of horse. They are very light, 
and in this respect unlike many of the bones washed 
out of the Forest-Bed and found on the shore, which 
are generally heavy, being infiltrated with oxide of 
iron. Further on the peat lay upon blue clay, pene- 
trated with roots exactly like the submarine forest on 

* Proc. of Geo. Soc. of Liverpool, Session 1871. 


the shore, the peat being very hard, and 3 feet 9 inches 
thick. From midway between manholes Nos. 3 and 4, 
the pipes were laid on a thin stratum of the peat, form- 
ing the bottom of the peat, at about 10 feet above 
Ordnance Datum. From this point to manhole No. 7, 
west side of the railway, the bottom of the peat was 
nearly a dead level, lying upon stiff blue clay. At this 
point my description must stop until the remainder of 
the trench is excavated. 

Along the whole length the overlying stratum is 
blown sand, averaging about 12 feet deep. As far as 
manhole No. 4 the peat was very hard and compressed, 
and contained a good deal of bark and branches, espe- 
cially towards the bottom, so that it could not be dug 
with the spade, but had to be " picked.' ' At manhole 
No. 5 there were about two grafts deep of soft peat, and 
from thence to the railway the whole of the peat began 
to be soft enough to be cut by a spade. Instead of roots 
of trees, we here had the bottom clay intermixed with 
the leaves of the common flag, the level being about 11 
feet above Ordnance Datum. Higher up in the peat, 
instead of it consisting of water plants entirely, a more 
varied growth seems to have taken place ; such, in fact, 
as 'we see in most mosses. Pieces of birch bark and 
stems of heath were included in it. 

There is no doubt that the peat from C to D is the 
exact equivalent of the superior Peat and Forest-Bed^ 
and. that though no marine shells were met with in 
the underlying formation it represents the Formby and 
Leasowe Marine Beds. This portion is a little higher than 
the general level, being a sort of bank, as the Section 
shows. It will be observed, however, that when the lowest 
level is reached, the base of the peat is almost on a dead 
level, and rests on stiff blue clay. A 21 feet tide will rise six 


feet above this level, so that when the drainage system 
of the country was in its natural state it would either .be 
overflowed, or there would be a fresh-water "mere," 
u shallow/' or " broad," there. This, from the remains 
of " iris " mixed with the under clay, apparently is what 
at first obtained, but gradually it has become grown up 
with water plants and converted into " moss land." 

In a paper contributed to the London Geological 
Society, I attempted to prove by measurements and 
observations of my own, that the whole of the blown 
sand on this south-west coast of Lancashire has taken 
not less than 2,500 years to accumulate.* 

The present section is a striking confirmation of the 
continuity and extreme slowness with which the sand 
has travelled inland. From the Biver Alt to a distance 
inland of about 1,000 feet the peat is very hard and 
compressed, so muqh so, that it could not be excavated 
without the pick ; from thence the surface begins to get 
soft, until the whole mass at last can be cut with the 
spade. The natural inference is, first, that the woody 
matter helps to make the harder peat ; and, secondly, that 
the nearer it lies to the shore, the longer it has been 
compressed by the overlying weight of sand. It is, also, 
possible that there may at one time have been a range 
of high sandhills over it on this length. But not only 
is the peat less hard the more inland we get, but after 
making all due allowance for compression it is actually 
thicker. It has, in fact, been growing for a longer 
period, but it has been growing conterminously with the 
travel of sand inland, otherwise we should find sand and 
tongues of peat in it, or tongues of sand splitting up the 

* On the date of the last change of level in Lancashire. Quar, 

Jour, of the Geo, Soo, 

278 , 

It is very difficult to make minute examinations in a 
trench ; but the Peat and Forest-Bed on the shore has, 
in places, six inches of vegetable mould under it. The 
peat by the railway, in one section, has no vegetable 
mould under it where I have examined it. Further 
excavations may tell us more on the subject, but the 
meres and moss lands appear to have originated in the 
subsidence of the coast, and the banking up of the 
inland waters by blown sand ;* whereas the base of the 
peat beds where the trees occur, bears indubitable 
evidence of having been first high and dry forest land. 

As the engineering work has been carried out from 
my plans, and under my superintendence, I can vouch 
for the accuracy of all the facts stated. 

December 18th, 1881. — Since last meeting the excava- 
tions have been carried across the railway and along 
Bandy Lane, a further distance of 682 feet. A heading 
was driven under the railway entirely in the peat bed, 
in which the iron pipes were laid. A strong tarry odour 
came from the peat at this point. At each manhole I 
have had the level of the bottom of the peat ascertained. 
At manhole No. 8, a section was cut showing about 14 
inches of the bottom part of the peat, and about 16 
inches of underclay. This I sent to Mr. David Eobert- 
son, ot Glasgow, who kindly consented to examine it for 
microzoa. I will give you the results in his own words. 
He says : " I have divided the clay into two parts, an 
upper and a lower ; and the same with the peat. Both 
sections of the clay, when dry, are whitish in colour. 
The undermost eight inches dissolve readily in water, 
and are composed chiefly of fine mud together with a 
little fine angular sand, having many plant-like rootlets 

* See " Geological Lessons among the Sandhills," by the Author, 
in " Science Gossip," 1881, p. 19$, 


running perpendicularly up through the clay : no animal 
remains were detected. 

" The next eight inches, as it approaches the peat is 
more tenacious with less sand, and more difficult to 
dissolve; and the rootlets becoming stronger than in 
the underlying N clay , together with long flag-like leaves 
lying flat on the line of bedding, 

" At the junction of the peat and clay the two merge 
for a few inches into each other, and like the underlying 
clay, is void of animal remains. 

" The first seven inches of peat overlying the clay is 
full of the remains of the long strap-leaf plant*, as seen 
in the clay below, and lying flat in the same manner, 
together with a few grass-like leaves, but mostly near 
the lower portion of the peat. 

" The next seven inches, or top section of the peat, is 
free of the long strap-leaves, and in their place are 
fragments of twigs of trees ; some of them you will see 
would measure, before they were compressed, an inch or 
more in diameter. It appears that the strap-like leaves 
grew on the surface of the clay, which was penetrated by 
their roots, and their remains were not seen to rise above 
the lower section of the peat ; while the woody plant 
remains were confined to the upper portion of the peat." 

The main mass of the peat is now becoming very full 
of the remains of birch. Some of the larger branches or 

* These remains have almost always been considered by local 
observers as the leaves of the common flag. Mr. Robertson thought it 
possible that they might be not leaves but compressed stems. I there- 
fore submitted specimens to Mr. Carruthers, F.R.S., of the British 
Museum, who says, " The specimens are fragments of stems, most 
probably rhizomes, shewing the scars of leaves which have surrounded 
the stem as in many monocotyledons, and showing also undeveloped 
buds in the axils of some of the leaves. From the material I am 
unable to determine what plant the specimens belong to." 

trunks on being split shew a magnificent pink colour, 
which in a few minutes' exposure to the atmosphere 
quickly fades to brown. It was a long time before I 
could decide what wood this is, but I have now finally 
demonstrated from various specimens that it is birch. 
What rendered it difficult of identification was that the 
silvery skin of the birch bark is seldom found on the 
larger pieces, and the smaller branches possessing it are 
not pink, but of a dark yellow or brown colour on being 
cut into. The lower part of peat seems made up of iris 
leaves, and the upper graft too ; but there are not many 
to be seen in the main mass, which is about the colour 
of tobacco when fresh, and finally becomes on expo- 
sure like black cavendish. The peat thickens out 
gradually to seven feet from the turn in Sandy Lane. 
A little beyond this point the section of the peat in the 
trench is as shewn, being several feet deeper on one 
side of the pipes than the other. It has evidently been 
got out for burning, along this line we are just conter- 
minous with the edge of the previous excavation. 

At the last place we tested the thickness of the peat 
(north of manhole No. 10), the underclay was bluer and 
more tenacious, and full of rootlets. The peat also 
begins to dip a little, as shewn in the Section. Some 
bones were found on the top graft of peat, west side of 
the railway, and a great many beyond the turn in Sandy 
Lane, opposite Mr. Francis BlundelPs house. They 
are mostly of the horse — a small variety. The skull of 
the horse, which I exhibit, was dug out in my presence, 
and on comparing it with that of a Welsh pony belong- 
ing to Colonel Blundell that happened to be on the road 
at the time, I found it was two inches shorter, and one 
inch narrower than that of the Welsh pony. The basal 
part of the antler of a red deer was found in the blown 



Band, twelve inches above the peat. The bones I placed 
with Mr. Moore to-day, and hope to have Kis report to- 
night. Considering that they all came from so small a 
space, I think we must conclude it constituted a land 
surface for a great length of time. The only bones that 
came from the part we consider to be the filled up sand, 
and which contains cockle and other shells, are the skull 
of the dog, and the small bones ; this material being in 
the cavities of the peat, which, as previously stated, bore 
signs of having been cut at a previous period. 

As regards the age of the deposits, I have taken every 
possible precaution to throw away nothing that can throw 
light on it. On examining a map on parchment of the 
Little Crosby Demesne, belonging to Colonel Blundell, 
dated 1702, by one Jos. Hawley, I find that there were 
fourteen houses at " High Towne ;" the ancient cross, 
which still exists, being in the centre of a sort of tri- 


angular road space. None of these old houses exist 
now, but the new villas shewn on my plan are on the 
same site. 

The cross is now at the side of the road, so I take it 
that the road has been, to some extent, moved since this 
survey, and that the filling-up in which the dog remains 
were found, was subsequent to 1702. The old map 
shews the roads unconnected, and apparently finishing 
on to the moss. This moss land has been since enclosed 
and the various lanes connected across it. 

I consider that the animal remains have been origin- 
ally on what was the edge of the moss, that they have 
been exposed for a length of time, and evidently covered 
up by the sand blowing on to the moist surface of the 
moss. At what period it is difficult to say — but the 
bones are of the same character as those I have found from 
time to time on the shore, which have probably been 


washed out of a similar bed near the sea. Everything* 
points to the fact that they are very ancient ; perhaps 
before our excavations are finished some further light 
may be thrown upon the subject. One bone only was 
found so. deep as 18 inches in the peat, they mostly 
occurred in the surface layers. It is evident the red deer 
has roamed over the place since the first layer of blown 
sand has accumulated. Be mains of the red deer are also 
found in the silt or alluvium of the Eiver Alt, overlying 
the inland moss at Altcar. 



By T. J. Moore, CM. Z.S.L. 

Curator of the Liverpool Museum. 

The Bones from the excavations for the Hightown Sewer, 

left with me by Mr. T. Mellard-Reade for determination, 

comprise the following : — 

Equus (Horse). — Skull nearly perfect, small, long and 

narrow ; extreme length, 16£ inches ; 
extreme width across the orbits, 7J 
inches ; length of series of six upper 
molars, 5 J inches ; width of palate at 
mid-length, 2 inches. — From " First 
graft of north-side of F. Blundell's 
,, „ Left radius and ulna, 14J inches long. — 

From " 18 inches deep in peat, beyond 
F. Blundell's plot." 
9i „ Metacarpal, 7 J inches long.— Found " in 

first graft of peat, opposite Frith's 


99 99 

>> 99 

99 >> 


Equus (Horse). — Do. upper half, 4 \ inches long. — From 

" Sandy Lane, top of peat opposite 
P. Blundell's." 

Fragments of pelvis, the largest 2£ by 2 
by f inches. — " From between peat 
and sand (September 4, 1882)." 

Portion of shaft of left femur, small, 
least girth 4f inches. — From " 6 (?) 
inches deep in peat, Nos. 1, 2, 8, beyond 
F. Blunders." 

A spindle f?J sJiaped shaft of bone, appa- 
rently from the upper portion of right 
radius of small Equus. Its girth is 
ovoid, and greatest at mid-length, 
where it measures 4 inches-; from 
thence it is flattened to both ends, 
which are forked, and the whole ap- 
pearance is strongly suggestive of its 
having been shaped and used, as for the 
winding of lines for fishing or other 
purposes. The entire length is 7 inches, 
and the fork at either end is 2 inches 
deep; one fork is less perfect, than 
the other, and is If wide at the tips. 

Note by T. M. B. — I have found several bones on the shore at the 
Alt mouth, washed out of the peat bed, of a shape similar to this. One 
of them in particular is smoothly rounded at the inside edge of the 
forked portion, while others appear as if they might have been gnawed 
into the forked shape. One of them has parallel indentations 
obliquely across it, as if produced by a cutting instrument. Another 
has had a flake of bone sharply split off, and the mark of a very sharp 
pcinted instrument with which it must have been done ; it might be the 
effect of the blow of an arrow. There are also curious indents and cuts 
at the ends of this bone that hardly seem the effect of an animal's teeth. 


Stis (Boar). — Right innominate bone of pelvis (tipper and 

lower ends wanting) ; acetabulum 1£ inch 
diameter. — Prom " top of peat, Sandy 
Lane, opposite F. Blundell's." 

Cervus (Stag). — Basal half of beam of right antler, 8 inches 

long and 6 inches in circumference, at- 
tached to pedicel 2 inches long and 5 inches 
circumference, with 2 inches of brow and 
one inch of bezantler, separated by an 
interval of 3 inches. Of good size, and 
with well-marked surface, but exceeded 
. in both by antlers from Leasowe. Ferru- 
ginous in colour from its sandy bed. — 
From "North of Frith's gate, in sand, one 
foot above peat." 

,. ,, Bight exoccipital of base of skull, with par-' 
occipital process attached. Large : fully 
equalling the same parts of the skull of a 
Wapiti Hind (Cervus Canadensis), with 
which I have compared it in default of a 
tetter. The posterior face of the exoc- 
cipital measuring 2 inches in vertical 
diameter, and very nearly 1 inch in 
transverse diameter. Peaty J>rown, with 
surface smooth and shining. Bed not 

Bos (Ox) . — Three well-worn molars in left maxillary bone 

with malar extending to orbit. Small. — 
" From Sandy Lane, top of peat, opposite 
F. BlundelTs." 


Part of right innominate bone, with acetabu- 
lum. Small. — From " first graft opposite 
F. Blunders," 


Bos (Ox).-— -Metatarsal ; small, 9J inches long ; 4 inches 

least girth. — From " Sandy Lane, top of 
peat, opposite F. BlundelTs. " 

,, Metatarsal, 8f inches long, and 8 J inches least 

girth. — Found "on sand, opposite F. 

,, Bight metatarsal, very small: immature. — 

From " first graft, west of railway." 

Ovis (Sheep). — Two left lower jaws, 6 inches and 5 £ inches 

long respectively. — From " first graft of 
peat, opposite Frith's gate." 

Cards (Dog). — Skull 5£ inches long, with jaw and limb 

bones : recent. — From "pot-hole of mixed 
sand and peat, opposite F. BlundelTs." 

Human : Lower jaw, aged, with two right and two left 

molars, much worn. — From "Hightown 
Sewer, 3 feet 6 inches below surface. 
Bank of the Alt." 

„ Left humerus 12£ inches long ; fair size. Bed 
not given. 

„ Right radius, 9£ inches long ; fair size. Bed 
not given. 

Note.— The above remains indicate that the Horse, Ox, and Sheep 
were of small size ; and that the Stag was a large and vigorous beast, 
though larger horns occur at Leasowe. — T. J. M. 




By Thomas Ward. 

During the last ten years, but more especially since the 
great land subsidence of December 6, 1880, at North- 
wich, the attention of the public has been particularly 
called to the remarkable phenomena occurring so con- 
tinuously in the immediate neighbourhoods of North wich 
and Winsford, the great centres of the Cheshire salt 
manufacture. It was almost universally understood 
that these sinkings were caused by the abstraction of the 
rock salt in the form of brine, for the purpose of being 
made into white salt. As an enormous amount of pro- 
perty not owned by the salt manufacturers was seriously 
damaged by these subsidences, without any compensation 
being made to the owners for the damage caused, these 
latter endeavoured, in the spring of 1881, to obtain redress 
by a private Bill in Parliament, the basis of which Bill 
was a small charge on all salt made from brine. The Bill 
was not obtained, chiefly because of an ingenious line of 
defence set up by Mr. De Ranee, a geologist connected 
with the Geological Survey Department. Acting on 
behalf of the Salt Trade, he endeavoured to prove that 
the great sinkings in the Winsford district were not 
caused by brine pumping, but were the result of ordinary 
geological causes which had been at work for centuries. 
His theory was that a portion of the rainfall had from 
all time, certainly since the Glacial Period, made its way 
down to the beds of rock salt, and dissolved a portion of 
the salt ; then being pressed upon by other fresh water 


from a considerable elevation, passed away in the form 
of brine springs into the brooks and rivers, and even- 
tually into the sea. The continual eating away of the 
rock salt by the water caused the overlying earth to 
gradually sink, following the fall of the diminishing rock 
salt. These sinkings extended to the surface where in 
the neighbourhood of brooks and rivers they formed lakes 
and pools of water. The old Cheshire meres are lakes 
thus formed by the solution of the salt, and the present 
sinkings are new meres formed by the same geological 
causes as the old meres. This, shortly, is Mr. De 
Ranee's theory, which he put into the form of a paper 
and read before the British Association in York a few 
weeks back. 

He accounted for the Northwich sinkings by attri- 
buting them to the bad mining of past times, which 
resulted in the mines falling in, and thus making large 
pits ; or, if in the neighbourhood of a brook or river, 
extensive lakes or meres. 

I propose in this paper to show the real cause of 
the sinkings, and to examine if the geological theory 
set up by Mr. De Bance can be substantiated by facts. 

The subsidences that are referred to in this paper 
occur in and around the towns of Northwich and Wins- 
ford, the two largest salt manufacturing districts in the 
world. In both of these towns beds of rock salt exist. 
Bock salt was first discovered in England in 1670, about 
a mile or so to the north of Northwich, and from that 
time to the present it has been mined extensively in the 
neighbourhood of Northwich. The rock salt at Winsford 
has been but little mined, and not previously to the 
present century. In 1781 a bed of rock salt of a purer 
quality than that discovered in 1670 was found below it, 
under a bed of indurated marl 30 feet in thickness'. Up 


till about 1782 al} Bait mined was obtained from the top 
rook salt as it is called. Since that period the new 
mines have all been sunk in the bottom rock salt. No 
mines were ever worked in the top rock salt at Winsford. 
By keeping clearly in mind the existence of these two 
beds of rock salt, the first lying from 40 to 65 yards 
from the surface and being on the average 24 yards 
thick ; the second lying from 75 to 95 yards from the 
surface and being about 85 yards thick, we shall be able 
to understand the Cheshire subsidences. All the subsi- 
dence, as a rule, is closely connected with the first bed 
of rock salt. The exceptions to this are very few in 
number, and will be pointed out. The subsidences are 
of two distinct characters — either gradual and con- 
tinuous, or sudden and of short duration. The cause of 
subsidence is in all cases the removal of the support of 
the earths above the salt, and the consequent sinking of 
these earths. This support of the overlying earths is 
rock salt, so we may say the removal of rock salt is the 
cause of the subsidence. 

We have now to enquire how this rock salt is removed. 
If we can answer this, we of course determine the true 
cause of the subsidences. In the case of mining rock 
salt there is no difficulty whatever in fixing upon the 
agent; but as most extensive sinkings occur where no 
salt has been or is being mined, and subsidence does not 
follow as a necessary consequence of rock salt mining 
but rather as an accident, it is evident that there is a 
cause beyond ordinary mining. Now, there is an almost 
universal agreement that water is the agent that mines 
or carries away the rock salt, the removal of which leads 
to the sinking of the ground. We may say that water 
is the origin in almost every case. The only exceptions 
to this are two or three mines which fell in, owing to 




the roof not being well supported by # the pillars of salt 
left by the miners, I say, advisedly, two or three mines; 
for, although probably SO or 40 old mines have fallen in, 
yet in almost every ease the destruction of the mine has 
been caused by the inbursting of water. Having reached 
this point, it will be necessary to explain how and to 
what extent rock salt is affected by water, Whenever 
fresh water reaches a bed of salt it immediately com- 
mences to dissolve the salt, and continues its action 
until the water becomes saturated. Every 100 parts of 
fresh water take up about 38 parts of salt by the time 
saturation point is reached. This means, that the satu- 
rated liquor contains, roughly, one part salt to three 
parts water ; or more accurately, about 27 per cent, of 
salt. Once saturated, the action of the water ceases, 
and, however great the body of salt in contapt with the 
saturated water, no more waste occurs. Fully-satu- 
rated brine stands in relation to water as 1*2 to 1, as 
far as specific gravity is concerned. Fresh water does 
not -diffuse at all rapidly in this saturated liquor 
. or brine when no motion takes place, as is well known 
in the salt districts, where it is often customary after 
heavy rain to run off the fresh water from the surface of 
the brine reservoir. If, however, the water instead of 
standing upon the rock salt bed is in motion,, it becomes 
saturated as it travels, taking up salt until it can take 
no more, when it passes over the surface of the salt and 
causes no further waste. If as fast as one particle of 
water passes, it is succeeded by another, a constant 
wasting action occurs upon the surface of the salt bed. 

It will now be seen that to produce a constant waste 
of the surface of the rock salt, and a constant sinking 
of the overlying earths, causing subsidence, we must 
have a continuous supply of fresh water moving on and 


carrying away with it particles of salt in solution. 
What gives the motion to the water ? A correct answer 
to this will show us the true cause of the subsidence. 
Does the water run down a slope ? and is it, therefore, 
gravity that causes the motion ; the water proceeding 
to some lower point ? This cannot be, for the beds of 
rock salt lie below the sea level, and there is no escape 
for the water anywhere below ; it must escape at the 
surface of the ground, if at all. There are now two 
means of causing the water, when saturated, to appear 
at the surface of the ground. The one is natural, the 
other artificial. The natural cause is the pressure 
of a column of water considerably longer from the sur* 
face of the rock salt, than the column from the surface 
of the salt to the point of escape. It is a case of hydro- 
static pressure. The longer leg of the inverted syphon 
contains the fresh water, which forces up the saturated 
water in the shorter leg, and causes it to flow away. 
This is the natural method of causing the escape of 
brine, and the consequent subsidence. The other 
method is the lifting of the saturated water by buckets or 
pumps, artificially. One or other of these methods, either 
the natural or the artificial, is causing the subsidence. 
Which is it ? To answer this question we must appeal ( , ; 
to facts. Wherever the escape of brine takes place, it j 
will be seen by its effects. Now scarcely any springs | ! 
have been so carefully noted as salt springs. Salt is a 
necessary of life, and men will go to great pains and 
expense to procure it ; hence the existence of a salt 
spring, even of the very weakest kind, is immediately 
made known, and it is utilised. I am not aware of the 
discovery of any brine springs running to waste, in 
recent times, in any old inhabited country. Indeed, 
after a thorough examination of a large amount of 


evidence respecting salt springs rising to-day and escaping 
into streams, I say decisively, that there is scarcely 
a known instance of a fully saturated salt spring 
running to waste. The great majority are very weak, 
and do not run at all copiously. I refer merely now to 
natural brine springs, not to springs produced artificially 
by borings carried down to the salt beds. Throughout 
the world then, there are few instances of the natural 
hydrostatic process above described. I may say that I 
have not met with a single instance recorded, of subsi* 
denoe similar to that occurring in Cheshire, resulting 
from a natural escape of brine. However, Cheshire may 
be an instance, so it will be well to examine the facts as 
told in history. 

Whittaker (" History of Manchester," vol. ii. p. 115) 
says : — " The Romans discovered the Salt Springs of 
Cheshire, and opened the requisite wells to them. These 
were the present pits of Northwich. The spring at 
Condate or Kinderton (near Middlewich), lies 16 or 17 
yards below the surf ace.' ' In Domesday Book we have 
no distinct mention of springs. However, referring to 
Nantwich, we read — " In King Edward's time there was 
a Wich in Warmundestron hundred, in which there was 
a well for making salt." It is very clear, that with the 
exception of Nantwich, Middlewich and Northwich, all 
mentioned, no other salt springs or wells were known. 
In Holland's edition of Camden, 1610, there is no men- 
tion of any springs except those of the three " Wiches," 
— Nantwich, Middlewich, and Northwich. In King's 
" Vale Royal," 1656, the evidence is exactly the same. 
We read — "This shire excelleth (not only all other 
shires in England, but also) all .other countries beyond 
the seas. For in no countrey where I have been have 
they any more than one well in a countrey, whereas in 


this countrey are four, and all within ten miles together; 
that is, one at Nantwich, another at Northwich, and two 
at Middlewich," p. 19. Towards the end of the 17th 
century there are several papers in the " Philosopical 
Transactions " referring to the Salt Springs of Cheshire. 
The only direct mention of springs escaping and running 
to waste is by Dr. Jackson, 1668, referring to Nantwich. 
He says : " In two places within our township the springs 
break up so in the meadows as to fret away not only the 
grass but part of the earth, which lies like a breach, at 
least half a foot or more lower than the turf of the 
meadow, and hath a salt liquour ousing as it were out 
of the mud, but very gently." These springs still "ouse 
out of the mud, but very gently," and are not fully 
saturated. In 1755, Dr. Brownrigg speaks of the 
Cheshire springs at Northwich, Middlewich, and Nant- 
wich. He does not speak of any escaping, but says that 
the brine is found above and beneath (this is a mistake) 
the " mines of fossil salt." " When the salt is in a good 
measure exhausted, and the brine is so weak that it can 
no longer be wrought to profit, they then sink pits in 
other likely places." In 1769, we meet with exactly 
similar evidence in a description of England and Wales, 
p. 2. " This county also abounds with salt springs .. • 
These rise in Northwich, Middlewich, Namptwich, and 
likewise at Dunham." The Dunham spring is very weak 
and unimportant. 

The whole of this evidence refers to a time when very 
little white salt was manufactured, and when conse- 
quently there would be a free natural escape of brine, if 
there were any escape sufficient to cause subsidence. 
The most curious thing is, that in all these books there 
is not one mention of subsidence caused by salt springs, 
or indeed of any subsidence at all, except of such a 



paltry character as scarcely worth consideration. Even 
in 1808, when Holland published by far the best work treat • 
ing on Cheshire Salt, I mean a " General View of the 
Agriculture of Cheshire," there is no reference whatever to 
any s inkin g of land, though we know that there were 
rock pits fallen in,, and the present subsidence had com- 
menced, yet the whole was so slight as to be deemed 
unworthy of note in a book that recorded every known 
brine spring and rock salt deposit in Cheshire. The 
only brine spring mentioned as rising to the surface is 
one at Middlewich, although the depth from the surface 
of the springs in all the known salt districts is given. 

rwt * 

To sum up the evidence from history, it may be said, 
that no copious escape of brine by natural springs has 
ever been known or recorded. All the springs rising near 
to the surface, or flowing over, have been in the district 
of the three Wiches ; and not one outflow of brine has 
ever occurred at any distance below Northwich. Mr. De 
Ranee, of the Geological Survey Department, has put 
forward the natural hydrostatic pressure theory, and 
makes the escape take place somewhere between Frod- 
sham and Northwich. History never records any springs 
near the spot he points out. It is true in cutting locks 
some weak brine springs were met With, but none 
copious, and none escaping prior to the making of the 
cutting. One fact seems to me to be conclusive of the 
whole matter. Had there ever been in historic times 
any such copious escape of brine as Mr. De Ranee's 
theory requires to account for the waste, it must have 
been found out, and a " Wich " or salt town founded. I 
have stated the evidence prior to the present century, 
for since 1808, when Holland wrote, the brine in both 
Northwich and Winsford districts, the only two where 
subsidence occurs, has never been within many yards of 


the surface, and not even so high as the supposed place 
of escape named by Mr. De Eance, so could not naturally 
escape ; and yet it is during this very period that fully 
99 per cent, of the subsidence has occurred. Mr. De , < 
Bance's theory was attempted to be supported by the 
following historical facts. The Cheshire meres are sub- 
sidences caused by the solution of the salt underlying \ 
them, and its escape into rivers by springs. In 1538 j 
there was a subsidence near Combermere. In 1659 , 
there was another subsidence at Bickley. In 1713 there 
was a subsidence at Weever Hall. During the present 
century there have been enormous subsidences, which 
are still going on. The conclusion intended to be drawn 
is — the meres were caused naturally, for there was no 
brine pumping then: the subsidences of 1533, 1659, 
1713, were caused naturally, because they occurred out- 
side the salt-making districts. Therefore, the present } 
great sinkings in Winsford district are caused naturally. 
We do not know that the meres were caused by the 
solution of salt. This is a mere theory; probable it is true, 
but certainly not proved. The three subsidences men- 
tioned were of such a minor character that there are no 
traces of them now, and it is quite possible for all of 
them to have been directly caused by brine abstraction 
for manufacture. But granting that they were the result 
of natural causes, to be consistent we require something 
more than three small subsidences, which are more ' 
than equalled in one week in recent times, during 
a space of about 300 years. The matter stands thus : 
In the last ten years subsidences more than a hundred 
times the extent of those produced during three centuries 
have occurred, — is the cause the same? It is a long 
time from the formation of the meres till the present 
time, and we know Nature works slowly and continuously 

from age to age, yet during all that long period of time 
three tiny subsidences only can be proved. During the 
last fifty years, at least 200 acres of land have become 
lakes. If Nature works regularly, where are the 1,200 
i acres that ought to have formed lakes since 1533 ? I 
am forced to confess that after a most full and careful 
examination, I fail to find any evidence to support the 
ingenious theory of Mr. De Bance. 

If, then, there is nothing, or next to nothing, to 
support the idea that hydrostatic pressure is the cause 
of the forcing of the saturated brine from below sea level 
to the surface, is there any other cause at work doing 
this ? I reply at once, yes ; and a cause ample enough 
to account for all the subsidence going on now, and that 
has gone on during the present century. I refer to the 
raising of brine by means of pumps to the extent of at 

\ l least 4,000,000 gallons per day. 

A short resvme of what is known of the modern sub- 
sidences may help us to determine whether they have 
been naturally or artificially caused. The first sinking 
of which we have any record, is mentioned in the second 
Act obtained for making the Eiver Weaver navigable. 
This was in 1759. A part of a road near to the Witton 
Brook f elfin, " by the undermining of the lands in the 
said road, for the getting of rock salt." I have a copy 

r * of a map of 1757 showing a "pit" hear this spot, which was 
afterwards called, in 1765, " Marbury .Hole." On a map 

| , of 1*765, another jpitnear the Witton Brook had " recently 
x * fallen in." From this date till the end of the century 
there are frequent records of " rock pits," as they are 
called, being destroyed by the influx of water. It was 
not till near the end of the century that there was any 
distinct record made of the general subsidence of the 
land, as distinguished from the pits called "Rock Fit 

1 • 


Holes" that showed where old mines had been destroyed. 
I am now speaking of the neighbourhood of Northwich. 
A map of 1797 shows sinking in the immediate vicinity 
of the Witton Brook, and from that date we have maps 
showing the gradual extension of the sinking area. Of 
late years, and to my personal knowledgey the sinking 
has rapidly extended, and is now extending — much of it 
— entirely out of the region of rock salt mines. In 
Winsford the sinking did not commence at so early a 
date as at Northwich. In 1831, as I have maps to show, 
the area under water along the river bank was very 
small indeed ; and on two maps compiled and published 
prior to 1831, there is not the slightest trace of sinking 
above Winsford, neither in the Bottom Flash nor near 
Weever Hall, or the Top Flash, as it is called. In 1848 
sinking to a slight extent had commenced at Weever 
Hall and in Clive. Ormerod (Journal Geological Society, 
vol. iv. p. 271) says : " At Clive, about fifteen years 
since, a portion of a field sunk down in the course of a 
night from two to three feet. At Weever Hall a similar ^ 
sinking has taken place. In the vicinity the land still 
continues sinking, and the water now covers land which 
a few years since formed a field. The land continues to 
sink along the course of the river to near Winsford, 
forming large pools. Near Stock's Stairs, about half-a- 
mile above Winsford, the sinking parts branch to the 
west and to the east of the river, leaving the banks 
firm. The bridge has not sunk." This is important 
evidence. In 1848 there were a series of pools along 
the river to Stock's Stairs ; now this is one very large 
deep pool, and extends almost to Winsford Bridge. 
In 1848 the Winsford Bridge had not sunk. Since then 
it has been raised owing to sinking more than 17 feet, 
and has cost the county since 1858 £3,274 13s. 6d. in 



raising and repairing owing to subsidence. The whole of 
the town in the immediate neighbourhood of the bridge 
and even to the north, towards the Salt Works, has 
sunk very rapidly within the last few years. In 1864, 
according to a survey made for the Trustees of the River 
^ ! Weaver, the two Winsford Flashes covered about 20 
acres ; in 1880 they covered 98 acres, and were increasing 

I rapidly. Within the last ten years there have been most 
extensive sinkings between Marton and Newbridge; also 
within the same period in the neighbourhood of North- 
wich very extensive sinkings have occurred, and during 
the present year I have been eye-witness to more than 
two acres of land being covered in one small district; and 
damage to property of more than £2,000 caused. To 
sum up the facts of subsidence, we may say that the first 
great sinkings occurred from the middle of the 18th 
century to the end, and were caused by the falling in of 
old mines, owing to the breakin g^ olw^ ter. About the 
end of the last century the first trace of sinking uncon- 
nected with mines is noted; about 1830 sinkings at 
Northwich and Winsford began to shew themselves, and 

; to extend rapidly. Since 1870 the sinkings have been 
most numerous, most extensive, and most formidable in 

1 their character. 

It is evident, then, that since the commencement of 
the present century some cause has been at work more 
powerful than at any previous historic period, and that 
this cause must have increased in intensity since 1880, 
and most rapidly so since 1870, as shewn by the increase 
in the effects produced. Can we find a cause which pre- 
vious to the present century was small, though operating, 
and which has increased during the present century, 
and most markedly so as the years have progressed — 
increasing most largely within the last ten years ? 


The great factor in the "Natural Cause" of Mr. 
De Eance is the rainfall. According to Mr. Baldwin 
Latham, C.E., the exact amount of brine escape can be 
measured by the rainfall. Now has there been an 
increase in the amount of rainfall during the present 
century, and has this amount continued steadily to 
increase as the years have rolled on, till during the last 
ten years it has been enormously in excess of any pre- 
viously known period ? It is well known that such has 
not been the case. The rainfall has not increased. 
Glaisher's tables show a decrease. If, then, we have a 
constant factor but an increasing product, and a product 
which continues to increase with ever greater rapidity, 
there is no other conclusion to come to but that the con- 
stant factor (the rainfall) cannot possibly be the cause 
of the rapidly increasing product. 

If, then, we cannot explain the results by natural 
means, let us examine the artificial factor at work and 
see the result. The amount of white salt sent down the 
Eiver Weaver is a fair representation of the amount of 
salt extracted by pumping up the' saturated brine, and 
consequently a fair measure of the support of the over- 
lying earths carried away by water annually. Prior to 
railways it was a more accurate measure than now. To 
get it more closely of late years, it will be necessary to 
add one-third to one-half more to it. I now produce a 
table carefully compiled from official statistics, showing 
the shipments of white salt down the Weaver. 


1732 5,202 tons. 




100,155 f 





i i, 







142,675 tons. 












It is admitted on all hands that the make of salt in 
1880 from brine was at least 1,600,000 tons. Let us 
now examine the table : Early in the 18th century very 
little salt was made, and no record of sinking. In the 
middle of the century very little salt still made, no re- 
cord of sinking. At the end of the century a considerable 
increase took place chiefly from Northwich. Holland, in 
his "Agriculture of Cheshire " says on p. 821: "The 
annual average of the last ten years (1796 to 1806) of salt 
sent down the Weaver is from Winsford, 44,384 tons, 
and from Northwich, 84,983 tons, giving a total average 
of 129,317 tons." At'this period the first clearly mapped 
out subsidences occurred at Northwich ; none are yet 
recorded at Winsford. In 1880 we have an enormous 
increase. The fact is that in 1825 the he avy duty on salt 
was taken off und the Ttra3eT increased rapidly. Subsi- 
dences now are recorded in the neighbourEooa of Wins- 
ford, and the Witton Brook at Northwich, as maps show, 
was much increased. In 1850 we find another enormous 
incigasej the Eflst_Jn dian trade j vasopened to English 
salt. The town df Northwich began to sink more 
rapidly and the outskirts were seriously affected, whilst 
the top of the brook continued still to increase and 
deepen. At Winsford __the pools along the Weaver 
increased, and the sinking advanced to the town. In 1870 



there was again an enormous increase : the Chemical or 
Alkali trade had sprung up and grown very rapidly, as 
the following statistics show: In 1862 there were used 
254,000 tons of salt in making alkali. In 1874 this 
reached 500,000 tons. From 1870 onward the quantity 
of salt manufactured kept on increasing, and during the 
ten years from 1870 to 1880 there were no less than 
9,619,232 tons of white salt sent down the Weaver. Add 
to this fully 3,000,000 of tons by other means of com- 
munication, and we have considerably ove r. 12.000.000 
of tons of salt removed by the water pumped up for salt 
making^d^ingjtfin^yfiars^ During this ten years the 
subsidences have been very extensive, rapidly increasing, 
and destructive in their effects. 

Here we have a rapidly increasing factor and a 
rapidly increasing product. In the direct ratio of the 
increase of the factor is the increase of the product. 

The problem we started with was this: Here is a pro.* 
duct small at the beginning of the century, increasing 
rapidly and continuously, but more markedly so at 
certain times and periods. Again for the formation of 
this product we have but two possible factors — a natural 
one and an artificial one. The natural one is a constant, 
or so nearly so as to be treated as such; the artificial 
one is a constantly and continuously increasing one, and 
one marked by more rapid increases at certain times and 
periods. Which factor must cause or create the product ? 
There can logically be but one reply — the artificial one. 

The only evidence we hayejo^the solution of * rock 
salt^byjKLter naturally is in connection with the great 
salt mountain of Gardona in Spain, which- i& entirely^ 
exposed^ o the weather. Karsten, in referring to the waste, 
says that it goes~on at t he rate of jour inches in a cen- 
tury. This is very slow and not in any way comparable 




• * 



to the waste of underground rock salt in Cheshire 
not exposed to the weather. Is it probable that natural 
causes — by this is meant rainfall — would more seriously 
affect the bed of salt covered by upwards of 100 feet of 
clay, and only approachable at a very limited portion of 
its area, than the mountain of rock salt entirely 
exposed to all the rain that fell? Agai n in Kohat, in 
N.W. India, the rock salt lies exposed to t he weather on 
hilly ground/ and the utmost waste noted has b een 
about two feet in a century. Looked at in whatever way 
we may, we cannot but conclude that natural causes are 
not producing the great subsidences in the salt districts 
of Cheshire. I do notdeny-tibat salt «ppnpr ft whgp mn- 

ningjiway intQ XXWS% Cause & fiArf.n/m n/mnnflf. of wnfitfl. 

They must do, but their action is so slow as only to be 
perceptible in geologic ages, and they may be dismissed 
as a factor producing changes perceptible in a generation. 

I have not said anything about the subsidences 
caused by mines sinking in the neighbourhood of North- 
wich, for the area occupied by sunken mines is only a 
small portion of the district suffering from subsidence, 
and there cannot be the smallest doubt but that brine 
pumping is the cause there as at Winsford. 

The great changes in Cheshire are like many other : 
not the result of Nature as in all the early geologic ages, 
but of one of the latest factors concerned in the changes 
wrought upon the earth's surface — I mean Man. . 

-J — _ 




By G. H. Moktok, F.G.S. 

Contents. — 1. Introduction. 2. Typical section of the Carbonifer- 
ous Limestone and Cefn-v-Fedw Sandstone of the west of Mold. 3. The 
Country to the south of Mold. 4. The Country to the north of Mold. 
5. Outliers of Carboniferous Limestone along the east of the Vale of 
Clwyd. 6. Lists of the Fossils found in the Carboniferous Limestone 
and Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone of Flintshire. 7. Conclusion. 


( The Carboniferous Limestone and Cefn-y-Fedw Sand- 

stone are fully developed in Flintshire, and extend 
continuously along its eouth-west border, from near 

. Llandegla to Prestatyn, a distance of about 22 miles. 

The south-west margin of the county is very irregular, 
so that some portion of the Limestone, at its southern 
extremity, extends into Denbighshire. At Tremeirchion, 
Bodferi, and Caergwrle, there are outliers of the Lime- 
stone, besides others along the east of the Vale of Clwyd. 
The country where the Carboniferous Limestone, Cefn- 

f y-Fedw Sandstone, and Coal-measures occur, is shown 

on the maps of the Geological Survey, Quarter Sheets, 
79, N.W., N.E., S.W. and S.E. The Limestone 
invariably reposes on the Wenlock Shale along its 
western outcrop, and it dips under the Cefn-y-Fedw 
Sandstone towards the east, which is immediately below 
the Coal-measures. The Carboniferous Limestone and 
overlying strata are well exposed near Prestatyn, Holy- 
well, Mold, Llanarmon, Llandegla and Caergwrle, all 
places of very easy access. There is a succession of fine 
exposures of the Limestone between Mold and Llanarmon 
where the thickness has been measured. 


Flintshire has received little attention from geologists. 
In 1857, M. L. Moissenit wrote a pamphlet on the lead 
mines; in 1870, Mr. D. C. Davies, F.G. P., very briefly 
described the Carboniferous Limestone and Millstone 
Grit near Mold* ; and in 1876, Mr. J. J. Williams, 
" The Mineral Eesources of Flintshire and Denbigh- 
shire."! Thele and a few short papers by myself are all 
that have been written on the strata below the Coal- 
measures of Flintshire. The 1-inch maps of the 
Geological Survey, already referred to, show the area . 
occupied by the Limestone and overlying strata, but 
owing to the small scale are of little use when required 
for any precise details. 

Mr. Aubrey Strahan, B.A., F.G.S., has been recently 
engaged in surveying the northern part of the county 
on the 6-inch maps for the Geological Survey, and I had 
the jjleasure of going over much of the ground with him, 
so that when the maps are published there will be a 
close agreement between them and my description, for 
some important sections we measured together. Although 
he has not attempted to represent the subdivisions 
on the maps as I have described them, he has dis- 
tinguished by different colours the Cherty Sandstone ; 
the Lower Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone ; the Aberdo Lime- 
stone of the north, and the sandstone interstratified 
with the Arenaceous Limestone of the south of the 
county ; the Carboniferous Limestone proper ; and a 
lower subdivision corresponding to the " Lower Brown 
Limestone " already described by me. Mr. Strahan has 
ascertained the position and exact direction of the 

*'• The Carboniferous Limestone and Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone between 
Llanymynech and Minera," gives list of works relating to North Wades. 
f" Trans. N. of England Mining and Mechanical Engineering/' Vol. xxy. 
p. 81. 


numerous faults and mineral veins, which will render 
the maps very valuable to the mining community. For 
above thirty years I have frequently examined various 
parts of Flintshire, and the fossils in the lists appended 
have been collected at various times during that 

The highest part of Flintshire is Moel Fammau, 
1819* feet above Ordnance Datum. The following 
elevations will give an idea of the relative heights of 
other places referred to : — 

u Crown Inn," 

Llandegla 852*3 

Bed of River, Llan- 
degla 798-0 

Moel Garegog, 

Llandegla 1354*4 

Llanarmon 802*4 

" Rose & Crown," 

Graianrhyd 966*0 

Quarry just south 

of Graianrhyd ... 949 * 5 

Llyn Cyfynwy 1250*0 

Llanferres 739*0 

Belgrave Mine Hill 1324*0 

MoelFindeg. 1196*6 

Weir at " The Log- 
gerheads" 607-5 

"Rainbow, "Gwern- 

Bryn-gwyn 1113*8 

First milestone on 
Mold & Ruthin 

road 570*0 

Town Hall, Mold 370*5 

Moel-y-Gaer 993*5 

Moel Ffagnallt ... 944:7 

Pen-y-ball 839*6 

High Street, Holy- 
well 358*0 

St.Wenefred'sWell 245*0 

Axton Hill, Llan- 

asa 757*0 

Gop, Newmarket. . . 819*7 

Gwannysgeor 574*0 

Moel Hiraddug . . . 


Nannerch 527*8 

y mynydd 785*8 

In my paper on "The Carboniferous Limestone and 
Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone of the Country between Llany- 
mynech and Minera, North Wales," I gave a general 

* Or. 1818-6. Sur. 1818*9. B.M. 1820-5, 


section of the Carboniferous strata below the Coal- 
measures, and described how the subdivisions of the 
Carboniferous Limestone continue with remarkable 
uniformity, while those of the Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone 
gradually change in lithological character. In Flintshire 
there is a gradual change in the subdivisions of both 
formations, but the Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone presents a 
very different appearance when compared with the 
typical strata on the Eglwyseg ridge at Llangollen. In 
the Carboniferous Limestone the principal difference is 
the absence of any thick beds of shale in Flintshire, and 
consequently of any well-marked line of division between 
the "Upper and Lower White Limestone," which become 
united in one subdivision described as the Middle White 
Limestone, though it is often of a dark grey colour in 
the north of the county, particularly near Prestatyn, 
where it is well exposed. 

The Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone changes its lithological 
character so completely that the Cherty Shale of the 
south, becomes the Cherty Sandstone of the north of 
Mold, while the Lower Sandstone thins out altogether at 
Moel-y-Gaer about five miles to the north of that town. 
The sandstone interstratified with the Arenaceous Lime- 
stone in thick and conspicuous beds to the west of Mold 
also thins out at Moel-y-Gaer and Moel Ffagnallt, but 
the limestone continues northward as the Upper Black 
Limestone in the neighbourhood of Holywell and Pres- 
tatyn, where the original name of the subdivision becomes 
no longer applicable. Near Llangollen the Arenaceous 
Limestone is composed principally of calcareous sand- 
stone, and was described as the base of the Cefn-y-Fedw 
Sandstone, but in Flintshire where it becomes inter- 
stratified with thick beds of limestone, and finally 
becomes a limestone subdivision altogether, it has been 


considered most convenient to include it with the Carbon- 
iferous Limestone. At Gwern-y-mynydd, near Mold, 
where the beds of sandstone attain their maximum 
thickness, the Arenaceous Limestone contains great 
numbers of Produetu* giganteus, and near Pentre Halkin, 
thousands of this species may be seen in the limestone 
strata of the subdivision, where the sandstone beds have 
thinned away. The great number of fossils exposed in 
the quarries near the latter place is remarkable, and it has 
long been known for the beautifully preserved Polyzoa 
that occur there. 

The Upper Grey Limestone about Halkin is of a 
lighter colour than usual further south, and some beds 
are composed of encrinital marble, while the remarkable 
zone of tabulate corals, which seems always to form the 
highest beds, is well exposed. The occurrence of this 
coral reef, which extends from near Llanymynech to 
near Prestatyn, indicates a pause in the subsidence of 
the Carboniferous sea-bottom, over a considerable area, 
and the luxuriant masses of coral spread out and exposed 
at frequent intervals is perhaps the most interesting palae- 
ontologioal observation that I have to record. 

The country around Newmarket, about two miles from 
Prestatyn, exhibits numerous sections of the whole of the 
Carboniferous Limestone. The Lower Brown Limestone 
occurs on the west of Moel Hiraddug in a quarry at its 
base, and the Middle White. Limestone fojms the great 
mass of the hill. The most fossiliferous locality in the 
Middle Limestone of North Wales is Axton Hill, close to 
Newmarket, where there are several small quarries. 
Nearer the latter village the Upper Grey Limestone occurs 
and is well exposed in several quarries where the ordinary 
fossils occur. The Upper Black Limestone is also 
exposed within a short distance. In this locality there is 



little or no drift, and the limestone is frequently to be 
seen, so that the succession and general lithological 
character may be observed and the fossils collected. 
The subdivisions of the Limestone are also well exposed 
along the end of the ridge above Prestatyn, where they 
suddenly end, being thrown down by a great east and 
west fault. 



in feet. 

/Aqueduct Grit 50 

Upper Sandstone 

and Shale 100 

Cefh-y-Fedw ' 

Sandstone. >Cherty Shale 250 

Lower Sandstone 

and Conglomerate 50 

Locality where 
well exposed. 

Pentre - hach and 

Eiver Terrig. 
River Terrig and 

Moel Garegog. 
Tir - y - coed and 

Gwern - y- mynydd 

and Pen-y-foel. 


Arenaceous Lime- 
stone 400 Bryn-gwyn and 

Upper Grey Lime- Moel Pindeg. 

stone 200 CatHole Mine and 

J Middle White Lime Maes-y-safn. 

stone 600 Cefh Mawr and 

Pwll-heli or Bel- 
Lower Brown Lime grave Hill. 

stone 100 Bryn Alyn and 

— — Llandegla. 




The Typical Section (Plate 1) shows the contour of 
the hills and the subdivisions of the Carboniferous Lime- 
stone, and Cefh-y-Fedw Sandstone as they occur between 
Gwern-y-mynydd and "The Loggerheads" on the south 
of the road from Mold to Buthin. The north of the road 
presents a similar section, though the strata are carried 
a little westward by a fault, along the line of the road, 
being an upthrow on the north. This section being close 
to Mold, is so accessible that it has been selected as 
typical of the succession of the Lower Carboniferous rocks 
in Flintshire. The absence of drift, and the number of 
. quarries and natural escarpments are so continuous that 
nearly the whole of the strata is exposed, and can be 
followed along the strike for several miles both north 
and south. During the period I gave lectures on 
Geology at Queen's College, Liverpool, I annually 
took the students along this interesting section ; many 
members of the British Association in 1870, and 
the Liverpool Geological Society in 1869, 1876 and 1882. 

Mold is situated on the Coal-measures. The hill Bryn- 
gwyn above Gwern-y-mynydd, where the section begins, 
is nearly two miles south-west of Mold, being 630 feet 
above the town and 1,000 feet above the level of the sea. 
There are no exposures of the strata to the east 
of Gwe*n-y mynydd except such as have been obtained 
from the shafts of mines — particularly at Fron-fawnog — 
but it was found difficult to correlate them with the beds 
exposed on the surface. 

The Lower Sandstone and Conglomerate is a white 
sandstone forming the ridge at the top of Bryn-gwyn, 
and contains bands of white quartz pebbles. The sand- 
stone is thirty feet in thickness and is indicated 




by the letter (a) on the section. The strata cropping out 
to the west of the ridge at a less elevation and exposed 
in several large quarries belong to the Arenaceous Lime- 
stone (b) the base being a soft red sandstone. In the 
valley below, the Upper Grey Limestone (c) crops out, and 
it is well exposed in several places, the upper beds being 
full of corals which are in p. much better state of pre- 
servation than on the same horizon at Llangollen. ' 

Further east the ground rises again and forms the 
hill on which Colomendy Hall stands, composed of the 
Middle White Limestone, (d) though it is not well exposed. 
On the north side of the road, however, the same lime- 
stone forms Cefn Mawr, including the fine cliffs opposite 
" The Loggerheads," and above the Glan Alyn mine. 
It is also exposed in the terraced ridges half-a-mile 
south, near Maes-y-safn. The Eiver Alyn flows* along 
the base of the escarpment of the Middle White Lime- 
stone, which occurs in the workings of the Glan Alyn 
mine to the depth of 210 feet below the river. The base 
of the limestone occurs about, half-a-mile to the west in an 
old quarry, near Tan-y-Bryn, and in the bed of the stream 
near Pwll-y-blawd, though it does not seem to resemble 
the typical Lower Brown Limestone. Still further west 
the Wenlock Shale appears at the surface, and rapidly 
rises in the bold masses forming the Moel Fammau range. 

The section gives the succession of the subdivisions 
over the whole of Flintshire, and there are several others 
running east and west, along which it is quite as clearly 
shown, though not within such easy reach. The 
road south of Llandegla, by the " Crown Inn," in the 
direction of Buthin, shows the whole of the subdivisions ; 
that from Llanarmon to Graianrhyd is of equal interest, 
but the former runs by exposures of the Lower Brown 
Limestone, while the latter is cut thro ugh the Gherty 


Shale, so that each section exhibits some strata which 
the other does not. A traverse from Llanferres by Pant- 
du affords the finest view of the Middle Limestone, as 
the road, after crossing the Alyn, passes through a gorge, 
bounded by rugged hills 600 feet high on each side. 
Similar sections to the east of Rhyd-y-mwyn, Halkin, 
Holywell, and Prestatyn, prove the same order of suc- 
cession, varied and modified by numerous faults and the 
contour of the country. Resides this regular succession 
of the subdivisions of the Carboniferous Limestone and 
Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone along these sections, each subdi- 
vision has been traced from one place to another, and 
when the new Geological Survey maps are published, 
the strike of each may be followed, and the influence of 
the numerous faults seen at a glance. The relative 
position of the subdivisions on the section having been 
shown, a more minute description of each, as developed 
in the south of Flintshire, will now be given. 



In Flintshire the relative thickness of the sandstone | i , 
compared to that of the shale, which constitute the i 
Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone, is much less than in the typical 
locality in Denbighshire. Near Llangollen the formation 
is chiefly represented by sandstone, with a subdivision 
of shale about the middle, and other beds near the top. 
In Flintshire the Lower Sandstone and Conglomerate 
becomes much thinner than in Denbighshire, and finally 
thins away altogether. The Cherty Shale, however, 
becomes gradually thicker, harder, and more like flint, 
while the sandstone at the top of the formation retains 
much of its original character. 



The Cefh-y-Fedw Sandstone ol Denbighshire and 
. Flintshire resembles the Millstone Grit and Gower series 
i of the South Wales coalfield. The Sandstone and Con- 
glomerate on the north of that district resemble the Lower 
Sandstone and Conglomerate near Llangollen, while the 
Gower series somewhat resembles the Cherty Shale and 
Sandstone above the Carboniferous Limestone of Flint- 
shire, and the strata in all these places seem to be 
synchronous. Between Minera and Holywell the gradual 
thinning away of the Lower Sandstone and the corres- 
ponding increase of the overlying shale may be traced ; 
and the sections already referred to across the Carbon- 
ifeijous strata between Llandegla and Holywell prove the 
gradual alteration described. 

The section (Plate 1) along the Mold and Denbigh 
road does not show much of the Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone, 
for only about 30 feet of the Lower Sandstone and Con- 
glomerate is exposed on Bryn-gwyn. It is a hard, light- 
coloured rock, and in the quarry at the south end 
exhibits three lines of white quartz pebbles, each about 
a foot thick, and dips 22° to the east. Excepting 
Annelid marks, no fossils have been found in it. Below 
the Lower Sandstone some beds of shale and limestone 
(25 feet) occur, with the Bryn-gwyn limestone (41 feet) 
underneath, as shown in the section of the Arenaceous 
Limestone at page 311, and the inferior beds can all be 
examined on the western slcpe of the hill. 

There are no exposures of the shale above the Lower 
Sandstone on the east of Bryn-gwyn, but further south 
the succession can be seen in several places by following 
the strike of the strata. It is, however, necessary to. 
remember the numerous faults that run N.W. and S.E. 
which often bring the sandstone beds of the Arenaceous 
Limestone on the strike of the Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone, 


and it is sometimes difficult to determine tile difference, 
as the former are often conglomeratic. A mile and a- 
half south at Tir-y-coed the Lower Sandstone is 
succeeded by a great thickness of Gherty Shale, which 
can be seen in the plantation. Further south the Lower 
Sandstone is often very soft, and when this happens the 
rock does not give any surface indication on the ground ; 
so that the overlying Gherty Shale appears to succeed 
the Arenaceous Limestone. The soft or sandy condition 
of the Lower Sandstone may be seen in a large sand pit 
at Pen-y-foel, a mile from the "Rose and Crown/' 
at Graianrhydd. Similar soft sandy rock occurs at 
Gaergwrle. It is probably from this cause that the 
Lower Sandstone is not observed along the base of the 
hills on the east of Llanarmon, or at Moel Gaergog near 
where it ends against Cyrn-y-brain. Moel Gaergog is a 
bold rounded hill 1,854*4 ft. high, close to Llandegla ; 
little can be seen of its structure and composition, 
but here and there a few small openings show that the 
Gherty Shale is in situ and of the usual white colour. 
Near the summit there is a talus of large fragments 
of hard white sandstone, which cover the surface for 
about 100 feet from the top. They belong to the Upper 
Sandstone, and as the stones probably descend below 
the base of the sandstone, it is a question if it exceeds 50 
feet in thickness. The Cherty Shale below may be 250 
feet thick, but that of the Lower Sandstone is un- 
ascertained. No fossils have been observed about Moel 
Gaergog, but screwstones — casts of the stems of encrinites 
— were found by Mr. D. Mackintosh, F.G.S., at Llyn 

The Gherty Shale succeeds the Lower Sandstone, 
and may be seen resting upon it, and the section along 
the road and brook running east from Graianrhyd 


t » 


exposes the strata for nearly half- a -mile. It rests upon 
the Lower Sandstone, 25 feet of which erop out on the 
road at Bryn-llys, but the fault supposed to throw it 
up is not visible. Further east after the brook 
has descended to a lower level, the dip of the shale 
increases from 10° E. to about 45° N.E.N, and a fault 
is supposed to bring in the Upper Sandstone. After 
cropping out for about 75 yards another fault throws up 
the Cherty Shale, which continues for the same distance 
with an easterly dip, when the Upper Sandstone is 
brought in again by a fault, and appears on the strike 
until it is gradually covered by the drift about 100 yards 
to the east. The Cherty Shale at Graianrhyd, at the 
east end of the section, contains Spirifera bisulcata and 
Streptorhynchus crinistria, and probably other species if 
carefully searched for. Both the Lower and Upper 
Sandstones contain quartz pebbles, and the latter is 
probably on the -same horizon as that described on the 
summit of Moel Gafcrgog. 

Another section about a mile to the north-east, 
exposes the strata immediately over those at Graianrhyd, 
where the succession of the Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone is 
continued upwards to the base of the Goal measures. 
This important section is along the course of the same 
brook, where it has become wider and is known as the 
Biver Terrig, near Tryddyn-fechan, a farm-house a mile 
and a quarter from the village of Tryddyn. The following 
is a section of the strata shown in the vertical cliffs, and by 
ascending the stream half-a-mile nearer Graianrhyd, 
aB the lowest sandstone extends in that direction, 
and there can be little doubt is the highest sandstone in 
the Graianrhyd section. In descending, the stream flows 
through the higher beds exposed in the cliffs until it enters 
the Coal-measures, a quarter of a mile north-east near Pont 


Terrig, and then by Nerquis Hall until it joins the River 
Alyn. This section of the Tryddyn-fechan beds completes 
the Cefh-y-Fedw Sandstone in the Tryddyn district. 

Aqueduct grit and sandstone ... 50 

Shale 10 

Sandstone * 9 

Shale 80 

^Sandstone 50 



The occurrence of the Aqueduct Grit at the top of the 
section is very remarkable, for it presents exactly the same 
lithological character as at the typical locality, near Trevor 
Station, where the Aqueduct is built on it, and a thick 
bed of shale forming the base of the Goal-measures rests 
upon it. It is the upper half only of the 50 feet that is grit, 
the lower part being an ordinary yellowish sandstone. 
A conglomerate occurs in places about the bottom of the 
grit. The 9-feet bed of sandstone varies considerably, 
sometimes being hard and at other places soft, while 
the 50-feet bed is hard quartzose fine grained sandstone, 
with quartz pebbles, and much jointed. The base is 
not visible, for the dip varies in consequence of undula- 
tions of the beds, and the thickness is an approxima- 
tion of what seems probable there and at Moel Gaergog. 
The two beds of shale are probably black, but appear 
to be grey from weathering. The strata dip about 10° 

There are several quarries near the village of Tryddyn, 
particularly one close to the Vicarage, where the 
Upper Cefh-y-Fedw Sandstone is exposed, but they all 
seem to belong to the 50-feet bed and contain quartz 
pebbles, the overlying shales and Aqueduct Grit not 
being exposed. 


The Graianrhyd section exposes the lower, and the 
Tryddyn section the upper strata, of the Cefn-y-Fedw 
Sandstone, but the thick overlying shale at the base of the 
Coal-measures is not exposed. 

At Pentre-bach, a mile and a-half from Mold, 
there is another section where the thick shale forming 
the base of the Coal-measures, and the underlying grit 
and sandstone are well exposed in a brook-course as 

Coal-measures Shale with bands of sandstone 40 

Hard fine-grained flaggy sand- 

Upper beds of 
the Cefn-y- 
Fedw Sand- 

stone 12 

Grit and conglomerate 3 6 

Hard fine-grained sandstone ... 12 

27 6 

The strata dip about 8° a little south of east, but it 
is only the grit and conglomerate that approaches the 
Aqueduct Grit in lithological character. It is, however, 
evident that the sandstone is on the horizon of that sub- 
division, for it is just under the shale which forms the 
base of the Coal-measures in Flintshire. 


This subdivision is composed of a series of strata, 
which vary considerably in lithological character, from 
limestone to sandstone with or without lime. The 
sandstone varies in colour and hardness, being frequently 
of a dull red shade and of a soft sandy character. It is 
well exposed on Bryn-gwyn, where it crops out from 
under the Lower Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone, and the follow- 
ing is a list of the strata as measured with Mr, Strahan :— 



Ff. IS. 

Thin shale, limestone, and fine grained 

calcareous sandstone 25 

Bryn-gwyn limestone, sandy with quartz 

pebbles at the top 41 

Thin bedded limestone 80 

Calcareous sandstone with lenticular layers 

ofchert 17 

Limestone and sandstone, some like the 

Aberdo limestone 17 

Sandstone 8 

Cherty limestone 8 

Limestone with bands of rubble and shale 

with beds of Product*** gigantem 50 

Fine grained calcareous sandstone 50 

Limestone — not well exposed 25 

Bed sandstone 50 

Limestone 25 

Soft red sandstone 60 


Although some of the upper beds in this section were 
measured with a tape, it was found difficult to estimate 
the thickness of those at the bottom ; but 400 feet may 
be safely accepted as the thickness of the whole of the 
Arenaceous Limestone at Bryn-gwyn. The usual colour 
of the limestone is a light brown, and that of the sand- 
stone a light colour about the top and a dull red towards 
the bottom, where, as already stated, it is very soft and 
gives a sandy character to the surface. Quartz pebbles 
are abundant in some of the beds of sandstone, and 
occasionally occur in the limestone. Both the limestone 
and sandstone strata vary considerably, and as one rock 



changes into the other, sometimes gradually and sometimes 
suddenly, it is often difficult to decide what to call a 
particular bed. Although the beds alter so much, both 
vertically and horizontally, there seems always a thick 
limestone near the top, variable beds in the middle, and 
a thick bed of red sandstone at the base of the subdivision. 

The lowest bed of soft red sandstone, forming the 
base of the Arenaceous Limestone at Bryn-gwyn, occurs 
further south near Maes-y-safn, and a second sandstone 
crops out in a conspicuous position above it, at the base 
of Moel Findeg close to an old mine. A north and 
south fault runs through the hill and throws the strata 
up on the east, s6 that the lowest sandstone crops out 
again by a cottage near the summit. A littje higher the 
second sandstone crops out and presents a prominent 
scar, visible for a considerable distance, with about 30 
feet of limestone overlying it and forming the highest 
part of the hill, 1,196*6 feet above the sea. Moel Findeg 
is very conspicuous when seen from the north, and its 
double peak is shown by the outline on the back-ground 
of the section (Plate 1). Just south of Moel Findeg the 
sandstone beds are again exposed in some plantations, 
where they alternate with limestone as at Bryn-gwyn. 
In this district there are <jhree sandstones, and they are 
known to the miners as grits ; but it is a question if those 
in the various mine shafts are on the same horizon. 
, Much of the Galena obtained in this part of Flintshire 
.has been from "flats" as at Fron Fawnog. 

Still further south the Arenaceous Limestone occurs 
at Fant-du, cropping out from under the Cefn-y-Fedw 
Sandstone of Tir-y-ceed. A fault intersects the road just 
beyond, and throws the strata up on the south, and 
consequently carries the Arenaceous Limestone to the 
east. Craig Wolf, near Erryrys, is a conspicuous hillock 


composed of sandstone, which is more or less calcareous ; 
and the characteristic red sandstone is well exposed in a 
road-cutting and several scars. The strike of the Arena- 
ceous Limestone at Craig Wolf is north and south, so 
that it is continued through the East Bog Mines, where it 
is again carried east by a fault, and then through Graian- 
rhyd to the west of Llyn Cyfynwy. Between these places 
the outcrop of the strata is almost continuous, and the 
sandstone beds form conspicuous ridges in the fields, 
with precipitous escarpments to the west. The alternate 
outcrop of sandstone and limestone gives a peculiar 
aspect to the country ; ' and as the sandstone usually 
projects above the surface, it is generally easy to find 
the outcrop of the subdivision. The sandstone when 
hard has resisted denudation, while the limestone and 


shale have been denuded, and consequently are much less 
exposed. Quartz pebbles are of common occurrence in 
both sandstone and limestone. 

The Arenaceous Limestone continues to Llandegla, 
though it is seldom seen on the surface. At Ty-hir, in 
the field adjoining the farm, there is a bed of hard 
sandstone, of which only six feet are exposed, with a few 
quartz pebbles at the top, succeeded by a light grey 
limestone fourteen feet in thickness. The beds dip 12° 
east, and on the road there is a bed of white shale two 
feet thick containing FenesteUa nodvlosa, with ten feet 
of limestone and shale resting upon it, all being above 
the beds by the farm, though there must be some other 
strata between which are not exposed. At Ffynnon-wen, 
near Llandegla, on the roadside, there is the following 
section in a small quarry, where the dip is 12° south-east ; 


FT. IN. 

White shale.. 2 

Shale and thin limestone 5 

Limestone in thick beds 25 


It is probable that these beds are at the top of the 
Arenaceous Limestone, and that the Lower Cefn-y-Fedw 
Sandstone in its soft sandy condition succeeds on the 
ascending slope of Moel Gaergog, above the quarry, 
for the Gherty Shale succeeds higher up, and the hill is 
crowned by the Upper Sandstone already described. 


The strata of dark grey limestone and shale forming 
this subdivision occur on both sides of the Mold and 
Euthin road, as shewn in the section (Plate 1), and may 
be traced as they crop out from under the Arenaceous 
Limestone continuously to Llandegla. The upper beds, 
with numerous corals, are exposed near the Gat Hole 
Mine ; again in a quarry behind Aberline ; along a ridge 
north-west of Moel Findeg, and at Maes-y-safn close to 
the "Miners' Arms," where there is a good section at the 
end of a rounded hill, which extends nearly a mile 
towards Pant-du. The south end of this hill presents a 
bold anticlinal section, and with the coral beds on its 
eastern side, about 200 feet of the Upper Grey Lime- 
stone. Further east the bold craggy hill above Bryn 
Alyn rises to an elevation of 1,324*0 feet, and although 
the -strata cropping out on the western escarpment all 
belong to the Middle White Limestone, the Upper Grey 
Limestone overlies it on the eastern side and rests upon 
it to within 100 yards from the top. The beds dip 10° B., 
and probably the whole of the strata come in with the 
slope of the hill, for the Arenaceous Limestone occurs on 


the opposite side of the road below. Belgrave Mine is 
near the top of the hill, and the Upper Grey Limestone 
ascends up to it. Although this hill is one of the highest 
and most striking objects in Flintshire, it has no proper 
name. Ewll-heli was the only one I heard suggested 
after the small house on its western side, but Belgrave 
Hill would be a good name for it, the words "Belgrave 
Mine" on the 6-inch map being the largest and nearest to 
the summit of the ridge. 

The Upper Grey Limestone on the eastern side of 
Belgrave Hill is very fossiliferous, and I obtained Produc- 
tu8 Margaritaceow and other species of more common 
occurrence, including Aviculo-pecten micropterus, Chonetes 
Hardrensis, . Productw cora, P. giganteus, P. semireticu- 
latus, Spirifera bisulcata, Clissiophyllum turbinatum, Litho- 
8trotion irregulare, L.junceum and Zaphrentis cylindrica. 

When following the strike of the Upper Grey Lime- 
stone and other subdivisions along the surface of the 
ground, it is important to remember that most of the 
numerous faults run north-west and south-east. These 
faults are nearly parallel to each other, and they are also 
mineral veins, as shown on the map of the Geological 
Survey. Whether they throw the strata up, or down, 
they always carry the beds to the east, or west, throwing 
them out of their continuity, though they may usually be 
found in their altered position presenting the usual litho- 
logical character and fossils on both sides of the faults. 
From Belgrave Hill the Upper Grey Limestone is con- 
tinued by the village of Erryrys* and the West Bog 
Mines, where there is a quarry containing numerous 
fossils. The mine buildings are in ruins (1881), and the 
stones of which they were built lie in heaps and contain 
iqany species. The locality is very prolific in the number 

* There is a large erratic block in a field close to the road. 

- did 

of species s when in company with Mr. Strahan we col- 
lected those in the following list in about an hour, and 
no doubt many others might be obtained during a longer 
search: Ooniatitesspharicus; BeUerophon; sp.Murchisonia 
VerneuiUana; Avictdo-pecten micropterus; Sanguinolites 
eurttis; SolemyaPuzosiana; Chonetes Hardrensis ; C.papiU 
lionacea; Prodiwtus cora ; P. costatus ; P. fimbriatus ; P. 
giganteus ; P. latissimus ; P. longispinus ; P. Marga- 
ritaceous; P.semireticulatus; P. Youngianus; Orthis 
r€8upinata; Lithostrotion junceum; Fenestella plebeia; a 
trilobite and stems of plants like Catamites and Lepi- 

South of the Bog Mines the Upper Grey Limestone 
is well exposed on the surface in quarries on the road 
west of Graianrhyd. It may be traced south over the 
country to the village of Llandegla, where there are 
quarries and natural exposures, crowded with the most 
common fossils, Productus giganteus, &c, and the corals 
Cli88wphyttum turbinatum, Lithostrotion irregvlare, L. 
junceum, and others in abundance indicating the 
highest beds. 

The country between Llanarmon and Llandegla is 
seldom visited, for there is no railway station nearer than 
Mold. The wooded limestone terraces on the south- 
east of Llanarmon are very beautiful, and belong to the 
Middle White Limestone. After crossing the band of 
Upper Grey Limestone from the west, the Arenaceous 
Limestone rises above it, and the Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone 
forms hills which rise to the elevation of 1,800 feet. 
The interesting Llyn Cyfynwy is in a hollow within about 
100 feet of the highest ground. It is of u square form ; 
1,200 yards in circumference, and supplies mines at 
Minera with water. 



The Middle White Limestone is the most conspicuous 
portion of the Carboniferous Limestone in Flintshire. 
It extends in a series of terraced and rounded hills from 
the great Bala fault at Llandegla, nearly due north, to 
Prestatyn, a distance of about 22 miles. The scenery 
along this belt of country is of a very hilly character, 
especially between Mold and Llanarmon, and the finest 
view* of the most rugged hills may be obtained from 
Llanferres, about half-way between. The precipitous 
outcrop of the Middle White Limestone ascends to the 
elevation of 1,324 feet at Belgrave Hill, and the country 
along the base of the rangG is well wooded, and watered 
by the Alyn, which runs along close to the road. Between 
Llanarmon and Llandegla there is a succession of rocky 
ridges of a less elevation, but hidden by lines of planta- 
tions, with grassy slopes alternating with them. Prof. 
W. Boyd Dawkins, F.R.S., has described the caves and 
contents discovered in the limestone ridges at Berth-y- 
chwarel, a mile and a-half north ; and the neighbour- 
hood abounds with recesses in the rock, where an 
uncivilized people would find shelter. 

The Middle White Limestone is exposed so contin- 
uously along the country that the whole of the beds may 
be examined in many ravines and gorges as well as over 
the hills. There are also many quarries and mine heaps 
where fossils may be collected, but unfortunately there 
are very few to be found, and still fewer that can be 
obtained in anything like a perfect condition. This 
general paucity not only refers to individuals, but to 
species, as the poverty of the list shows. There seems 
to be little difference between the beds forming the 
Middle White Limestone, though the colour varies a 
little on certain horizons and in particular localities. 


With regard to the bedding, perhaps the upper beds are 
on the average thinner and most fossiliferous, while the 
lower ones are of a more massive character; but there is 
no divisional line of separation, and no such frequent 
beds of interstratified shale as in the same subdivision 
near Llangollen. There is, however, an interesting 
quarry section at Garth, near Llandegla, just west of the 
Toll-gate, where two roads meet, which exhibits a mass 
of broken rock, with 20 feet of shale and 25 feet of linie- 
stone over it, in the form of an anticlinal, as shown in 
the following wood-cut (Fig. 1). It is an isolated section, 
so that its position in the Limestone series cannot be 
seen, but it probably belongs to the upper part of the 
Middle White Limestone. The shale contains a great 
number of an Aviculo - pecten, sp., and the limestone 
Productus cora, and Syringopora geniculate. 


a. Limestone, 25 feet. b. Shale, 20 feet. c. Limestone, 25 feet. 

The Middle White Limestone is well exposed in the 
meadows further north-west, where it crops up in ridges, 
but not being quarried, no good section can be seen. It 
also occurs at Berth-y-chwarel, where there is a quarry 
containing the numerous fossils in the list from that 

The thickness of the Middle White Limestone is about 
600 feet at "The Loggerheads," and it does not seem to 
vary, but remains much the same throughout Flintshire. 
There are several long cross-courses running north 
and south, as these are faults, and there are no means 


of ascertaining the amount of dislocation, it is difficult 
to arrive at any exact result. For instance, in the typical 
section (Plate 1), the White Limestone is faulted twice, 
once at the Gat Hole Mine, and again by the Caleb Bell 
at " The Loggerheads," but Mr. Strahan does not confirm 
the latter fault occurring at that particular place* 


This subdivision occurs in. its typical character in an 
old quarry exactly a mile and a-half south-west from 
Llandegla, a few hundred yards from two tumuli, which 
are in the acute angle formed by the junction of two 
roads. The strata consist of thin bedded black and 
dark-grey limestone with interstratified partings of 
black shale, and dip 60° to the east. The beds actually 
exposed are about 30 feet thick, but there are a few feet 
of reddish strata a few yards to the west, so that might 
increase the thickness to 60 feet* There was a hole 
where the red beds were exposed associated with 
rotten brown and black shales, and some indifferent 
specimens of heematite were lying about. The limestone 
probably ends with a fault, which brings up the Wenlock 
Shale, but the beds exposed are evidently near the base 
of the Carboniferous Limestone. Productus comoides 
occurs, associated with a few forms that cannot be 

At Brynniau, a farm-house half-a-mile to the north, 
there is a quarry, where the beds exposed are on the 
same strike and very similar, dipping 55° E.S.E., and 
contain the following fossils, viz : — Murchuonia Verneu- 
iliana, Productus comoides, P. cora, Spirifera lineata, 
Alveolites septosa, Syringopora geniculate and the remains 
of plants, just the species that occur in the Lower Brown 
Limestone at Llangollen, However, 150 yards to the 


west of this quarry, at Brynniau, there are two other 
limestone quarries, at a lower level, which, though nearer 
to the Wenlock Shale, seem to belong to a higher horizon. 
The limestone is white, dips 52°E.S.E., and contains 
fragments of a large Euomphalus, Productus cora and 
Syringopora reticulata. It seems that these' beds mast 
have been let down by a fault, which may be connected 
with the one supposed to occur near the tumuli, and 
that there is a boundary fault between the two 
' formations* Limestone is exposed in many quarries to 
the east of those described ; but as it belongs to the 
Middle White Limestone, the Lower Brown Limestone 
must be a thin series of beds cropping out along a band 
of co.untry not more than a quarter of a mile in width. 

Nothing is seen of the Lower Brown Limestone again 
until near Llanarmon, where it may be traced by means 
of several old limekilns and quarries on the west of the 
village. There are two quarries by the Methodist chapel, 
a little further north ; and half-a-mile beyond the Alyn, 
on the main road, it may be again seen with the same 
strike. Still further north at Llwyn-y-fran, nearBryn 
Alyn, it forms a steep escarpment facing the river, where 
it may be easily examined. It differs, however, from the 
Lower Brown Limestone near Llandegla, for it is a more 
earthy looking limestone, and more like the subdivision 
as it occurs further north. 



By G. H. Morton, F.G.S. 

The Pebble-beds of the Btinter formation form the lowest 
subdivision of the New Bed Sandstone well exposed 
in the country around Liverpool. "They consist of 
coarse, hard, brown, or dull red sandstone, divided at 
irregular intervals by layers of clay and shale, a few^ 
inches thick ; pebbles and fragments of clay being nume~ 
rous, but ripple marks very rare. ,, * This description, 
though strictly correct with regard to the subdivision 
about Liverpool, does not hold good if applied to a larger 
area, for the sandstone is sometimes very soft; as 
in the district between St. Helens Junction and Newton, 
where it has been mistaken for the Lower Mottled Sand- 
stone. There are other localities where the Pebble-beds 
present an abnormal appearance, but it is sufficient to 
mention the sandstone exposed at Bootle, and the cores 
brought up from the boring in Flaybrick Well, Birken- 
head, as strata showing the absence of pebbles. In 
the latter it was found impossible to draw any line of 
distinction between the Upper Mottled Sandstone and 
the underlying Pebble-beds. There is probably a 
gradual passage from one subdivision to the other, for I 
do not know of any section showing an abrupt line of 
junction. Below the Pebble-beds the Lower Mottled 
Sandstone has been described as of a bright red 
colour with streaks of white, which often give it a 
variegated appearance. At the "Blue Bell" Inn, near 
Prescot and Huyton, it was said to be of a yellow colour. 

* Geology of the Country around Liverpool, p. 15, 1863, 


Since these descriptions were written, most of the 
supposed Lower Mottled Sandstone has been proved to 
be the Upper Mottled Sandstone, as at Toxteth Park 
and West Kirby ; or soft red beds, associated with the 
Pebble-beds, have been mistaken for it, as at St. Helens 
Junction* There are several other localities where 
soft red strata occur, and have been described as 
Lower Mottled Sandstone, but in most of these there 
are no means of ascertaining the horizon with certainty, 
as in the case of the soft red sandstone in the railway 
cutting under Grown Street and Chatham Street. The 
strata that seem most likely to be Lower Mottled Sand • 
stone are the yellow beds about Huyton, Tarbock, Bain- 
ford and other places, which border the Goal-measures, 
and seem very like the yellowish beds below the marl in 
the sand-pit, hereafter described, at St. Helens Junction. 

The Geological Survey Maps containing Liverpool 
and the surrounding country, were published before those 
sheets representing the country further to the east. In 
the former, the Lower Mottled Sandstone is shown 
underlying the Pebble-beds, as at Huyton and Prescot ; 
but in the maps containing Leigh, Bedford, Patricroft 
and Manchester, there is no such subdivision introduced, 
for the Pebble-beds always there rest on the Permian. 
The late Mr. E. W. Binney, F.B.S., constantly main- 
tained that the Lower Mottled Sandstone and the Per- 
mian were one and the same. During the last few years 
some of the difficulties connected with this question have 
been removed, for not only has much of the Lower 
Mottled been proved to be Upper Mottled Sandstone, 
but several shafts and borings have been made, through 
the New Bed Sandstone into the Coal-measures, proving 
the strata below the Pebble-beds. The sections I am 
about to describe have mostly appeared before,; but in 



the " Proceedings " of various societies, which cannot be 
readily referred to. A recent survey of the district has 
not added much to previous information, but having 
waited long in the hope "that something would turn 
up," I decided to give a resume of all that is known 
about the base of the New Eed Sandstone in the Liver- 
pool area to the present time. 

In the early Geological Maps of England and Wales 
a band of Permian strata was shown bordering the 
south-west Lancashire coal-field, and although this was 
eliminated in the later editions, it is again conspicuous 
on the Geological Survey Maps from Manchester as far 
as Edge Green, west of Leigh, terminating with a small 
outlier at St. Helens Junction. There can be no ques- 
tion as to the Permian strata at Bedford; near Leigh, as 
limestone was long quarried there, and numerous fossils 
found, including Tragos Binneyi. 

Permian strata also occur at Bispham, six miles 
north-east of Ormskirk, where, in a little dell called 
Skillaw Clough, the following section is exposed, and 
was first described by Prof. Edward Hull, F.G.S., in 
the "Memoirs of the Geological Survey/' "Geology of 
the Country around Wigan, 1866 :" — 



Magnesian limestone - 6.0 

Permian •{ Bed and purple shale 30.0 

Brown and red soft sandstone... — 

A similar section is exposed at Bentley Brook, a mile 
to the north-east. Unfortunately, no fossils have been 
found in the limestone at either of these sections ; but 
there seems no doubt that the strata belong to the 
Permian formation. 

In the Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical 



Society of Manchester, vol. xii., 1855, Mr. Binney, in 
a paper " On the Permian Beds of the north-west 
of England/' described two sections, one at Edge Green, 
Golborne, and another at St. Helens Junction, 17 and 
12 miles from Liverpool, which he gives as follows : — 


" This place is a little to the north of Golborne, and 
lies near to the North Union Bailway. It is about a 
mile south-south-west of the last described section.* In 
sinking his shaft, the deep pit called No. 4, for coal, some 
years since, Mr. Evans met with the following strata : — 

FT. IN, 

. Marl and clay 33 

! Bed sand '.... 4 


Pebble- A 

„ rock 48 

White rock....; 20 

Permian / 

Bed and white rock spangled.. 9 

^ White rock 13 

( Bed stone, rather rocky 11 

Soft red metal 2 

Spangled red and white rock .. 13 

Bed metal % 

„ linsey 4 

White rock 2 

Bedstone 11 

metal 25 

burr (hard rock) 2 

metal 26 

Brown metal 1 

Bedrock 82 

Coal-measures, of which the 
variations are given 171 







.Refers to Eye Bridge, 


" The Trias and Permian beds in this section have 
the same angle of dip, namely 7° east-of-south, at an 
angle of 14°, whilst the underlying Goal-measures dip 
52° east-of-south at an angle of 11° ; so that it is evident 
that the former have a greater inclination than the latter." 
"The red stone of the 10 feet 6 inches (probably the 11 
feet 6 inches bed) no doubt represents the thin beds of 
limestone parted by clays, and the red burr, 2 feet 8 inches, 
the lower band of the Bedford section. The same fossils 
were found in the limestone as at Bedford. The lower 
new red sandstone although described as red, had beds 
of a light colour mixed with it." 

It does not appear from this description that Mr. 
Binney saw any limestone himself, but that he obtained 
the information some years after the pit was sunk ; 
though independently of the occurrence of the limestone 
and fossils, the strata so much resemble the Permian in 
other respects that the correctness of his conclusion can 
scarcely be questioned. 

Prof. Hull, in the " Geology of the Country around 
Wigan," gives an abstract of Mr. Binney's section, as 
follows : — 



FT. IN. 

Drift Boulder-clay 38 

Bunter ( 

Pebble- J Bed sandstone with pebbles ... 95 
beds I 

Bed sandstone, marl with 
bands of limestone, contain- 

. j ing Permian fossils 70 C 

* Hard burr rock 2 8 

Bed and variegated sandstone 

(Lower Permian) 109 3 

Coal-measures , , 


This section is similar to that given by Mr. Binney, 
with the addition of the bands of limestone and fossils, 
about which there may be some doubt ; for though they 
occur in strata to the east, do not occur further to the 


Eecently I visited the shaft, which I found was sunk in 
1844, eleven years before Mr. Binney, and twenty-six years 
before Prof. Hull described it. The colliery manager of the 
pit, when sunk, is dead, but I happened to find the man 
in charge of the engine who remembered it being sunk. 
I found some red metal lying on the bank which he said 
had recently been brought up from a bad place in the 
shaft. He had never heard of any limestone or fossils 
having been found there. As he had resided close by all 
his life he might have seen the limestone, but would not 
have been so likely to have heard of the fossils reported 
to occur there. A wall formed one side of the raised bank 
and in it I saw blocks of what appeared to be Coal-mea- i 

sure sandstone, another sandstone of a pink shade, 
probably the Permian, and a hard sandstone, with many 
pebbles, which had certainly been derived from the 
Pebble-beds nearer the surface. Of the red metal 
referred to, there were only a few hundred-weight, 
which I carefully examined for fossils without finding a 
trace of any. It would have been impossible to identify 
the Pebble-beds from the miner's names given to the rock 
in the upper part of the shaft, though it seems certain 
that they occur, with a series of sandstones and marls 
underneath) and a thick sandstone below them resting on 
the Coal-measures. 

Mr. Binney in the same paper described another 
section near Liverpool, at Sutton, now St. Helens 
Junction, the description of which I give in full ;— 



"The upper new red- sandstone is seen by the side 
of the lane leading to the station on the Liverpool and 
Manchester Bail way. It consists of reddish sand without 
much cohesion. The dip is rather difficult to make out 
but it seems to be towards the east. Under this sandstone 
occur 80 feet of red and greenish mottled marls, contain- 
ing small lenticular markings, and dipping at an angle of 
10° to the east-south-east. In these beds Mr. Smith, a 
gentleman residing in the neighbourhood, and well 
acquainted with the strata, informed me that he had 
found nodules of limestone and impressions of shells. 
Then comes a rock of about 90 feet thick of red and 
variegated sand used for moulding purposes, and dipping 
under and in the same direction as the marls last men- 
tioned. Although this sandstone has only been proved 
90 feet, Mr. Smith estimates its thickness at above 300 
feet. On the top of it -are found large nodules, some of 
them half-a-ton in weight, very hard, and when broken 
showing a mottled appearance, and containing a good 
deal of red marl and peroxide of iron. They at first 
sight might be taken for conglomerates, but to me they 
are more like chemical aggregations of different sub- 
stances from a pasty state than rolled pebbles. Whatever 
their origin, they cannot be distinguished from the bed 
previously described at the Bedford Colliery, and would 
appear to prove that the conglomerate at the latter place 
occurred on the top of the lower new red sandstone." 
" The marls and sandstone, both of which I consider to be 
Permian, rest on upper Coal-measures of a red colour, 
seen in the dam of the London and Manchester Plate 
Glass Company." 

Professor Hull, in the "Geology of the Country 


around Prescot" I860,* gives the substance of Mr. 
Binney's paper and 'states that the blocks referred to 
" have now disappeared. The purple and mottled marls 
with Permian fossils (Schizodus, Bakevellia, and Turbo J 
are not visible in any section, but have been proved in 
the wells of the brewery to be 80 feet in thickness. They 
are Overlaid by soft, bright red sandstone, forming the 
base of the Trias exposed to view in a small pit at 
Pecker's Hill Lane. It is impossible to say how far 
these beds extend either to the west or east of this spot 
from the entire absence of sections." 

The identification of Permian Marl at St. Helens 
Junction rests mainly on the evidence of a Mr. Smith, 
and their occurrence in the wells of the Brewery ; and 
although there are very few exposures of the strata, there 
is sufficient to confirm Prof. Hull's conclusion. It is 
probably since the district was surveyed and described, 
that a sand*pit at the southern extremity of the Permian 
area has been opened or certainly- enlarged in Fisher's 
yard, Mill Lane, close to Leech Hall.t For many years 
this pit was considered to represent the Permian Sand- 
stone only, but recently from the action of the weather 
and the enlargement of the pit, the upper portion has 
assumed a marly appearance so that the following strata 
are shown: — 


FT. IN. 

Boulder-clay or debris from it 15 

Sandymarl 15 

Soft red and yellow sandstone 25 

* Memoirs Geological Society. 

f Possibly one of the two quarries near St. Helens Junction described 
as Lower Mottled Sandstone, by Professor Hull, ( Geology of 
Prescot,' p. 14. 



The sandy marl dips slightly in an easterly direction, 
and it is very regularly stratified, while the underlying 
red and yellow sandstone is false bedded. There is no 
limestone associated with the marl, and a search for 
fossils was unsuccessful. The dip is E.S.E., but only 
a few degrees. The sandy marl is altogether different 
to any other strata in the neighbourhood, and if it does 
not actually represent the purple and mottled marl at 
the Brewery, may be just below or above, for it has the 
same strike. At the other side of the London and 
Manchester • Railway, in the middle of the triangular 
area formed by the railways, there is a sandpit where the 
following small section was exposed in 1881, but was 
partially covered with water in 1882. 


Red marl with greenish bands 

Soft red sandstone 

„ yellow „ 






A few feet of red marl crop out at the corner of a 
roa'd about 800 yards to the north, but no sandstone 
can be seen there. The strata in all these sections are 
on the strike of the marl in the wells of the Brewery, 
that is as nearly as can be determined over ground so 
little exposed and 90 much left to conjecture. The 
locality has been taken possession of by the Railway Co., 
embankments thrown across it, and the ground covered 
with rubbish, so that it is a question if any additional 
observations on the strata can be made. I remember 
the supposed Lower Mottled Sandstone west of the 
Station at St. Helens Junction, but the soft red sand • 
stone with quartz Pebbles in the road cutting beneath 
the railway belongs to the Pebble-beds, and not to the 
former as coloured on the Geological Survey Map— even 
on the recent edition. Although the strata are so little 


exposed that no satisfactory conclusion can be drawn, it 
is certain that there is red shale or marl, with a soft red 
and yellow sandstone underneath. 

During the last seven years several shafts and borings 
have been made, which help the identification of the 
strata. All these shafts and bore-holes pass through the 
Pebble-beds, and, with the exception of one at Bootle, 
penetrate the Coal-measures, so that the character of 
the strata has been proved in many places, and we are 
enabled to form a more satisfactory conclusion as to the 
base of the New Bed Sandstone than formerly. . 

Just a mile from St. Helens Junction the Bold Hall 
Colliery Co. sunk two shafts, between 1875-8, and for the 
following section I was in the first instance indebted to 
Mr. Henry Bramall, C.E., though I give it in the 
abreviated form adopted by Mr. A. Strahan, M.A.,F.G.S., 
in an article . " On the Discovery of Coal-measures under 
the New Bed Sandstone, and on the so-called Permian 
jocks of St. Helens, Lancashire."* 


FT. IN. 

Peat 4 6 

Glacial Clay and sand 63 5 

Bed marl and sandy marlt ... 9 

Bed mottled sandstonet 21 

Bed and white metal 30 4 

Bed sandstone 57 9 

^ Permian 



Bed coal-measures 864 9 

Coal-measures 1249 6 

Florida Mine 

* Geological Magazine, Decade ii, Vol. viii, p. 433. 
f Lower Mottled Sandstone, according to Mr. Strahan, Geol. Mag. Ibid. 



At Ashton's Green Colliery, one mile N.W. from 
Bold, the most easterly shaft goes through 48 feet of 
red sandstone, but it was sunk many years ago, so that 
little is known about it. About a mile N.E. from Bold 
is Collins Green Colliery, where two shafts pass through 
the New Bed Sandstone into the Coal-measures, and the 
following is a section of one of them, obtained from Mr. 
John Mercer, though there is little or no difference 
between them, for they arie only a few yards apart. 


FT. IN. 

Glacial Clay 63 7 

Bed sandstone ..102 2 jl 

Yellow „ 41 

Bedrock 37 1Q 

Bed metal 22. 4 

Hard dun rock 3 3 

Brown sandstone, with concre- 
tions of iron pyrites called 
"Sulphur Balls" 40 8 

Bed coal-measures 151 11 

Co$l-measures 1204 10 


Permian - 


measures { Florida Mine 

Another important section was obtained recently at 
the Lime Pits, near the Newton race-course where 
the Haydock Colliery Company have sunk three shafts. 
Fortunately my attention was directed to it by Mr. 
Bramall, otherwise it might have remained unnoticed by 
geologists. I considered it so important, that I com- 
municated with Mr. Strahan, and we visited the place 
together, when Mr. Glover gave the details, Of which the 
following is a condensed section ; — 










FT. IK. 



Clay 3 

Buck leaf clay 86 

Red sandstone, with a few 
pebbles 259 

Red shale "soapstone" 9 

Hard brown sandstone 7 

\ Red coal-measures 97 9 

measures { 

At the bottom of the shaft we found a considerable 
space had been excavated and the hard brown sandstone 
at the base of the New Red Sandstone formed a solid 
unbroken roof. At the end of a heading from this open 
space we saw the New Red Sandstone resting unconform- 
ably upon the Coal-measures, as shown in the following 
section : — 


* 2??=S 

a. Wong brown stone, b. Soft crumbly metal. 
Dips 8° E. Dips 10° E. 

It shows that the inclination of the strata of both 
formations is very similar. The unconformity between 
them was only just visible along about six or eight yards 
of the strata exposed, and all were of a red colour. The 
dip of the New Red Sandstone was about 8° E., and that 
of the Coal-measures about 10° E. I brought up 
specimens of the beds, and found a large quantity of rock 
from the shafts exposed on the surface which contained 


pebbles and nodules of clay, showing that the 259 feet 
in the section belonged to the Pebble-beds. 

In addition to these sections obtained from shafts, 
there are several places where the thickness and base 
of the New Red Sandstone have been proved by borings 
for water. The details obtained from borings are, how* 
ever, much less reliable than those from shafts, especially 
when the strata are so soft that solid cores cannot be 
brought to the surface. Mr. Strahan in the paper already 
referred to, gives the records of the strata passed through 
at the following places, on the authority of Mr. A. 
Timmins, G.E., of Runcorn, who made the bore-holes, and 
usually preserves specimens of the beds passed through. 



FT. IN. 


Fine-grained yellow and white 

sandstone 117 

Porous sandstone, with millet- 
seed grains 7 

Light-green, red and blue clay 8 

JBright-red sandstone 3 

Coal- (Purple and mottled marl, with 
measures I bands of limestone 40 


FT. IN. 

Bunter (Hard sandstone, with pebbles 

Pebble-beds \ and thin beds of shale 229 5 

'Red shale 81 7 

Soft sandstone 16 5 

Soft grey sandstone, with 

Permian* { concretions of iron pyrites ... 21 7 

Dull red pandstone with bands 

of shale 81 

Shale 11 

! ' 


n. in. 

Coal- (Dark red, green and purple 
measures \ marl, with limestone 71 


FT. IK. 


Bunter (Bed, brown and white sand- 

^ Pebble-beds I stone with pebbles 150 

rEed shale 82 

Bright red and yellow sand- 
stone with shale 4 feet, and 
containing concretions of 
iron pyrites towards the base. 109 
Goal- (Purple and green mottled 
measures 1 marl 5 



FT. IN. 

rDeep red sandstone, crumbling 
readily, with millet-seed 

grains 54 

Bed marl 41 

Sandstone 19 

Bed marl 11 

Light red sandstone 85 

Bed marl 2 

Soft light red sandstone with 

millet seed grains 83 .0 

Soft light red fine sandstone ... 40 

Soft coarse red sandstone 96 6 

This boring was continued to the depth of 809 feet, but 
the lower portion could not be obtained. 

There is another section much nearer Liverpool, to 
which final attention must be drawn. In 1878 the 

•Lower Mottled Sandstone according to Mr. Strahan*-GeoZ. Mag. 



Corporation of Liverpool decided to sink an experimental 
boring at Bootle in search of water, at a considerable depth, 
in hope of obtaining an additional supply from a source 
below that of any of the local wells. The firm in 
Manchester who made the boring, evidently expected to 
pass through some, impermeable beds, and then obtain 
water from sandstone at a greater depth. There can 
be little doubt that the Permian marls were expected 
to occur below the Pebble-beds, and that what Mr. 
Binney called the Permian, or Lower New Bed Sand- 
stone would be found beneath, and that it would yield 
the anticipated supply of water. This opinion, derived 
from the succession of the New Bed Sandstone in the 
neighbourhood of Manchester, seemed to' admit of no 
doubt. Geologists, however, most likely to form a 
correct opinion on the order of the subdivision of the 
sandstone around Liverpool, stated that the Pebble- 
beds at Bootle would be only a few hundred feet thick, 
that the Lower Mottled Sandstone — 400 feet — would 
be found beneath, and that the proposed depth of 1,000 
feet would penetrate the Coal-measures. In due course 
the boring began in the Pebble-beds, and contrary to all 
expectation, the base of those beds was not reached until 
the depth of 1,026 feet had . been attained. As the 
boring proceeded, strata of a fine grained character were 
penetrated, and it was decided to continue to the depth of 
1,800 feet.- After descending through 274 feet of this sand- 
stone, which was of a very tough character, the operation 
was suspended without either finding the impervious >y 
Permian marl, or reaching the Coal-measures. .The fine \ 
grained sandstone was found to contain lime, when 
analysed by Dr. J. Campbell-Brown, F.C.S. ;* and if a I 


Analysis of Bocks from the 1,300 feet deep Bore-hole, at Bootle.— 
" Proc. Liverpool Geol, $oe.," vol. iv., part I, p. 63 f 






thin bed of limestone, or a thick bed of shale, or marl 
had been found, there can be little doubt that the strata 
\ M would have been pronounced Permian. The strata 
\ ' ; below the Pebble-beds were considered Lower Mottled 
\ \ Sandstone from their position rather than from their 
. lithological character. It was very unfortunate that the 
boring had to be given up after going to such an unpre- 
cedented depth, through strata of an abnormal character. 
As no beds of shale or marl were met with in the Lower 
Mottled Stodstone at Bootle, the inference is that they 
thin out to the west, or occur at a greater depth. 

According to Prof. Hull's description of the Lower 
Mottled Sandstone, it is made up of soft bright red, 
yellow and mottled sands, fine grained, without pebbles 
or fragments of other rocks, and no beds of marl are 
mentioned. But there is no clear section Showing the 
Pebble-beds with the Lower Mottled Sandstone and Per- 
mian marl developed below, and it therefore seems most 
probable that both may represent different conditions of 
one formation. * If the marl thins out towards the west the 
Lower New Bed Sandstone of St. Helens Junction may 
be the Lower Mottled Sandstone at New Pale and White- 
field Lane, Tarbock ; Huyton ; Stand House, Croxteth ; 
and Bainford. In the " Geology of the Country around 
Prescpt," Prof. Hull gives a section showing the Lower 
Mottled Sandstone resting directly on the Goal-measures, 
without any marl being present. These are the princi- 
pal localities where this subdivision occurs; they are 
all isolated exposures, and seem to be near the base 
of the Nfew Bed Sandstone. 

My object in bringing this paper before you is to 
place on record, and bring into a focus, all that is known 
and worth recording of the base of the New Bed Sand- 
stone in the country around Liverpool, 


It will be seen from the sections of shafts and borings 
that the Pebble-beds occur at the surface in every 
instance, and that the thickness passed through in each 
case leaves no doubt regarding their occurrence.* With 
the exception of Bootle, each section presents a series otX 
sandstone and marl of no great thickness, below the 
Pebble-beds, which much more nearly resemble the 
Permian of Manchester than the Lower Mottled Sand- | 
stone of Liverpool. I have already shewn that the 
Pebble-beds are frequently represented by a soft red 
sandstone, without any pebbles, and have frequently been 
mistaken for the Lower Mottled Sandstone. As this has 
occurred on the surface where a considerable area was 
exposed, great caution must be exercised in receiving 
as proved the sections derived from bore-holes. 

In conclusion, it seems to me probable that the 
Permian Marl, provisionally so called, thins out 
from the east towards the west, and that the 
Permian of the Manchester district is represented 
by the Lower Mottled Sandstone of the Liverpool 
district. The variation in the thickness of the Lower 
Mottled Sandstone and the Permian is probably in con- 
sequence of varying contour of the surface of the Coal- 

There may be some confusion between sections of 
the Upper Coal-measures, which are of a red colour, and 
the supposed Permian, especially as both seem to contain 
a bed of limestone, and the section showing unconfor- 
mity at Newton race-course does not prove much, for 
it may be only an instance of false bedding. 

* Except, perhaps, Bold and Far n worth, but both of these places 
are on the Pebble-beds according to the Geological Survey Map. 



Note.— Sinoe this Paper was read, an important seetion has just 
been obtained from a boring now in progress at Hunt's Gross, Woolton, 
much nearer Liverpool than St. Helens Junction, for the particulars of 
which I am indebted to Mr. A. Timmins, C.E., who is conducting the 
operation. The place is near a doubtful boundary line between the 
Pebble-beds and the Upper Mottled Sandstone, on the Geological Survey 
Map. After passing through 137 feet of drift a bed of marl was found, 
which has been penetrated to the thickness of 200 feet — 337 feet from 
the surface — without reaching the bottom of it. It would be absurd to 
call this marl Lower Mottled Sandstone, and most likely it is Permian, 
just below the Pebble-beds, which is the usual succession in the country 
to the east of the boring. Before the age of this marl is finally decided, 
it is desirable that fossils should be obtained, if any occur in it ; but the 
stuff comes up the bore-hore in the condition of powdered dust, so that 
there is little chance of finding any at present. Now that attention has 
been directed to the importance of finding fossils, it is hoped that they 
will soon be found in some of the localities where the marl occurs. 
Meantime it seems probable that the position of the marl is between the 
Pebble-beds and the Lower Mottled Sandstone, and that all the strata 
below the former belong to the Permian. It is, however, possible that it 
may ultimately be proved to be Keuper marl. 







A. C. RAMSAY, F.R.S., F.G.S., London. 

JOHN MORRIS, F.G.S., London. 



HENRY HICKS, F.G.S., M.R.C.S.E., London. 

W.KING, D.Sc, Queen's College, Galway. 

JOHN W. JUDD, F.R.S. F.G.S., London. 


ARCHER, F., B.A., Boundary Cottage, Crosby. 

14, Cook Street. 
•fBEASLEY, H., 20, Chesnut Grove, Wavcrtree. 
•BOSTOCK, R., 8, Grange Lane, Birkenhead. 
*BROWN, J. CAMPBELL, D.Sc, F.C.S., 27, Abercromby Square. 
COOGAN, P. M., C.E., 28, Green Lawn, Rock Ferry. 
DAVIES, C, 8, Kinglake Street, Edge Hill. 
DODD, J., 2, Derby Terrace, Rock Ferry. 
♦fESKRIGGE, R.A., F.G.S., The Woodlands, New Brighton. 

18, Hackin's Hey. 
FITZPATRICK, M., 62, Seel Street. 
FITZPATRICK, J. J., 62, Seel Street. 
f FOSTER, E., 7, Newstead Road, Smithdown Road. 
GREEN, A., York House, Old Chester Road, Rock Ferry. 

9, Canning Place. 




GRIFFITHS, J., 4, ExtohPark, Chester. 

♦HALL, H.F., F.G.S., Green Heys, Grove Road, Wallasey. 

17, Dale Street. 
HANCE, E. W., LL.B., Hon. Treasurer, Municipal Offices, Dale Street. 
HATHAWAY, T., C.E., The Mount, Bangor, North Wales. 
HERDMAN, W.A., Prof., D.Sc, F.L.S., F.R.S.E., University College. 
♦HIGGINS, H. H., Rev., M.A., Rainhill. 
HEWITT, W., B.Sc, 21, Verulam St, Upper Parliament St. 
JACKSON, G. 0., 15, Trafalgar Road, Birkdale, Southport. 
JOHNSON, J. H., F.G.S., 64, Albert Road, Southport. 
JONES, T., Top Lane, Wallasey. 

Orange Court, Castle Street. 
LEA, T., Vale Cottage, Huyton Quarry. 
LEIGH-GREG SON, S., Aigburth Road. 

Slater Court, 5, Castle Street. 
•MACKINTOSH, D., F.G.S., 32, Whitford Road, Higher Tranmere. 
*McCLAY, J .L., Rose Villa, Victoria Road, Oxton. 
•MARRAT, F. P., 21, Kinglake Street. 
MAYER, J., F.S.A., Pennant House, Lower Bebington. 
*MOORE, T. J., C.M.Z.SX., Newsham Drive, Newsham Park. 

Liverpool Muspnm. 
•MORGAN, A., 97, Hartington Road, Sefton Park. 

57, Seel Street. 
MORTIMER, Captain, Liverpool. 
"fMORTON, G. H., F.G.S., F.R.G S.I. (Hon. Secretary) 4, Onslow Rd., 

Elm Park. 122, London Road. 
fMOTT, C r G., Sunnyside, Cavendish Road, Birkenhead. 
McMILLAN, A., Conway, North Wales. 
PATERSON, J., Palmyra Street, Warrington. 
PEARSE, W., 21, Harrington Street. 

Green Bank Farm, Wavertree. 
♦fPICTON, Sir J. A., F.S.A., Sandy Knowe, Wavertree. 

4 and 5, Queen Buildings, Dale Street. 
♦POTTER, C, 101, Miles Street. 

PEARSON, J. E., Golbome Park, near Newton-le-Willows. 
QUILLIAM, W. H., 30, Rufford Road, Fairfield. 
♦fREADE, T. M., C.E., F.G.S., Park Corner, Blundellsands. 

Canning Chambers, 4, South John Street. 
♦fRICKETTS, C, M.D., F.G.S., 22, Argyle Street, Birkenhead. 
♦fROBERTS, I., F.G.S., Kennessee, Maghull, Lancashire. 

39, Gardner's Row. 
RICHARDSON, W f A., Valley Lodge, Borough Road, Birkenhead, 


KOBINSON, J. J., Blundellsands Road, Great Crosby. 

SHONE, W., F.G.S., Upton Park, Chester. 

STONE, R., Jim., Newton Park, Newton-le-Willows. 

STRONGITHARM, G., 77, Whetstone Lane, Tranmere. 

SPARGO, E., Bangor, North Wales. 

SHERLOCK, C, 63, South John Street. 

TATE, G., Ph.D., F.G.S., F.C.S., Liverpool College of Chemistry 

96a, Duke St. 
THOMAS, H., 21, Kinglake Street. 
TIMMINS, A., C.E., Mill House, Runcorn. 
WILSON, W. H., St. Michael's Hamlet, Aigburth. 

31, Wapping. 
WRIGHT, B.M., F.R. Hist. Soc, 204, Regent Street, London. 
*WARD, T., Northwich, Cheshire. 
YOUNG, H., 12, South Castle Street. 


MORGAN, Mrs., 97, Hartkigton Road, Sefton Park. 
MORTON, Miss S. E., 4, Onslow Road, Elm Park. 
ROBERTS, Mrs., Kennessee, Maghull, Lancashire. 
READE, Mrs., Park Corner, Blundellsands. 

* Have read Papers before the Society. 
f Contribute annually to the Printing Fund. 




ittppwl §^k^\ Bfltfttg. 




pDITED BY p. ji. y\loi\TON, ^\G. j5. 

(The Autlwrs having revised their own Papers, are alone responsible 
for the facts and opinions expressed in them.) 





OFPICEES, 1882-8. 





Honorary Treasurer. 


ffoaorarg &ibrariam 


Sonorarg. Secretary. 




GEORGE. TATE, Ph. D., F.G.S., F.C.S. 







Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. 
Belfast Naturalists' Field Club. 
Birkenhead Free Public Library. 

Do. Literary and Scientific Society. 
British Museum. 
Bristol Naturalists' Society. 
Bodleian Library, Oxford. 
Boston Society of Natural History, U.S. 
Chester Society of Natural Science. 
Dudley and Midland Geological and Scientific Society. 
Epping Forest and County of Essex Naturalists' Field Club. 
Editor of " Geological Becord." 
" Nature." 

"Geological Magazine." 
,. " Science Gossip." 

Ertborn, Le Baron 0. Van, Anvers Belgique. 
Geological Society of Edinburgh. 
Geological Society of Glasgow. 
Geological Survey of India. 
Geological Society of London. 
Geological Society of Manchester. 
Geological Survey of the United States. 
Geological and Polytechnic Society of the West Biding of 

Yorkshire, Leeds. 
Geologists' Association, London. 
Glasgow Philosophical Society. 
Hayden, Dr., United States. 
Koninok, L. G. de., Prof., Liege. 
Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. 


Liverpool Athenaeum. 

Chemists' Association. 

Free Public Library. 

Geological Association. 

Literary and Philosophical Society. 

Lyceum Library. 

Philomathic Society. 

Polytechnic Society. 
L'Universite Eoyal De Norvege, Christiana. 
Minnesota Academy of Natural Science, Minneapolis, U.S. 
Musee Eoyal D'Histoire Naturelle de Belgique. 
Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street, London. 
North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical 

Orleans County Society of Natural Science, Vermont, U.S. 
Owens College, Manchester. 
Eoyal Dublin Society, 

Eoyal Geological Society of Ireland, Dublin. 
Eoyal Society, London. 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, U.S. 
Societe Geologique de Belgique, Liege. 
Societe Geologique du Nord, Lille. 
Toscana Societa di Scienza Naturali. 
University Library, Cambridge. 

Warwickshire Natural History and Archaeological Society, 

_ # 

Watford Natural History Society. 


or THE 



OCTOBER 10th, 1882. 

The President, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

The Officers and Council for the ensuing year were 
elected, and the Treasurer read his Annual Report, 
which had been audited by Mr. Heney Beasley and 
Mr. Isaac Roberts. 

The President then read his Annual Address— 


NOVEMBER 14th, 1882. 

The President,. DANIEL MACKINTOSH, P.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

Professor W. Hbrdman, D.Sc, P.L.S., P.R.S.E., 
was elected an Ordinary Member. 

The following papers were read : — 



By G. H. Morton, F.G.S. 




By Henry Bkasley. 

DECEMBER 12th, 1882. 

The Pbebident, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

The following communication was read :—r- 


By Charles Rioeetts, M.D., F.G.S. 

JANUARY 18th, 1888. 

The Pbesideot, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

The following communications were read : — 



By G. Tate, Ph.D., F.G.S., F.C.S. 



By G. H. Mobton, F.G.S. 

FEBRUARY 18th, 1888. 

The President, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

The following communication was read : — 


By T. Mellard Reade, C.E., F.G.S. 


MAECH 18th, 1883. 

in the Chair. 

Dr. Archibald Geikie, F.R.S., was elected an Hono- 
rary Member. 

The Rev. John Manbell was elected an Ordinary 

The Mowing communication was then read :— 


By G. H. Mobton, F.G.S. 



I have selected for this address a subject which may 
be regarded as both special and general, namely, the 
changes in relative levels of land and sea along the west 
and south coasts of England and Wales. At the very 
outset, however, it may be necessary to attempt an 
answer to the questions — What is a submerged forest ? 
and, What is a raised beach? 

Submerged Forests.— Ab it is certain that a great part 
of the sea-bed surrounding the present coasts of England 
and Wales was dry land in Post-tertiary times, the 
deepest parts of what is now the bed of the sea, with 
forests on their surfaces, must have been first submerged, 
and the shallowest forest-covered parts the last. But it 
is probable, if not certain, from what may still be seen 
at extreme low water, that the more ancient surfaces of 
forest-growth have in many, if not in most places, been 
buried under sedimentary deposits, the least obscured 
surfaces where they have not been washed away by the 
waves, being those which sank down the latest. These 
may be called pre-glaoial or interglacial surfaces of forest- 
growth, and they may be traced under the waters of the 
Bristol channel, and many other shallow seas. But it 
is likewise certain that many forests which have grown 
along sea-coasts in post-glacial times have partly or 
wholly subsided beneath the sea, and it is probable that 
in many places the process is still going on. , 

Raised Beaches. — According to Professor James Geikie 
(with whom I have lately been corresponding on the 
subject), the only true raised beaches regarded as distinct 


from portions of sea-beds, are rock- shelves or terraces 
which were excavated by the sea in inter-glacial times. 
The raised beach of Cantyre, with its cliffs and caves 
is, according to Professor Hull, the most strongly pro- 
nounced of all the raised beaches of Scotland. Its inner 
limit is about thirty feet above the present sea-level. 
According to Professor James Geikie, the shingle-covered 
" raised beaches " along the W. coast of Scotland are 
of post-glacial age, but in the S.W. of England I have 
no doubt they are inter-glacial. Along the coasts of 
England and Wales the so-called raised beaches (with a 
few exceptions, where the conditions were favourable to 
the formation of terraces) are raised portions of the sea- 
bed or rather of the tidal zone, so that they are beaches 
as regards the shingle or sand of which they are com- 
posed, but generally not beaches as regards their 
external form. 

Submerged Forests and Raised Beaches along the 
Coast of Cumberland, Lancashire, and Cheshire. — As it is 
now a long time since I was' familiar with this coast, 
and as much has been written about it by Liverpool 
Geologists and the Geological Surveyors, I must be very 
brief in my remarks. I have a distinct recollection of a 
terrace near Whitehaven, surmounted by a cliff-line, 
which suggested the idea of a raised beach ; and I have 
no doubt that many indications of changes of level 
might be found around the shores of Morecambe Bay. 
Among them there are two undoubted instances of 
raised sea-beds, if not, strictly speaking, beaches, one 
at Eampside (discovered by the late Miss Hodgson), and 
the other near Fleetwood. I am not aware that any 
notice has hitherto been taken of the remains of a forest 
a short distance north of Parkgate, portions of which 
are alternately exposed and covered up by sand which, 



at intervals, is brought up and washed away by tides 
and waves. It suggests the idea that peat and forest- 
beds may once have been more extensively distributed 
than at present. Along some parts of the east shore of 
the Dee estuary, there is a deposit of sand above the 
upper Boulder-clay which might be mistaken for a 
raised beach, supposing the observer to overlook the 
pieces of coal, bits of broken tobacco-pipes, &c, which it 
contains imbedded, and which shew that it is merely 
blown sand. 

Submerged Forests and Raised Beaches along the 
Coast of Wales. — Along the base of Halkin mountain, on 
the western side of the estuary of the Dee, the sea has 
worn back the glacial drift so as to leave a line of cliff 
which, from about the neighbourhood of Flint, is con- 
tinued north-westward for a considerable distance. It 
is not, strictly speaking, a raised beach, because the base 
of the cliff-line is generally as low as high-tide level. Pro- 
ceeding still westward, I shall pass over the well-known 
epitaph in Abergele churchyard, because it does not 
name the place where the man lived which, according 
to the epitaph, is now under the sea. The area covered 
by the Lavan Sands which (according to Professor 
Haughton) were brought by tidal currents from the 
south-west coast of Ireland, is said to have subsided in 
very recent times, if the subsidence is not still going on. 
There is a tradition that the waves have washed over 
and destroyed a fruitful vale, along with a palace ; and 
it is said that at very low tide the waves may still be seen 
breaking over ruined houses and causeways. According 
to Bamsay there is a raised beach on the shore of 
Bedwharf Bay, on the N.E. coast of Anglesey, and a 
submerged forest south of Holyhead. There are similar 
forests on the west ccast of Wales, near Aberystwith, 


Aberaeron, Cardigan, in St. Bride's Bay; and near 
Tenby, on the south coast of Wales. 

Submerged Towns, dc. — Nearly due west of Moel 
Tryfan, Caernarvonshire, a submerged town may be seen 
marked on some maps, and farther south, near Bar- 
mouth, there is a kind of causeway, called Sarn Badrig. 
The five fathom line approaches near to it on both sides. 
It seems to be the top of a wall which partly or wholly 
kept the sea out from what was called the " Lowland 
Hundred. " About the year 500 a flood-gate was left 
open, and the sea overflowed the whole hundred. If this 
historical account be reliable, it would tend to throw 
doubt over the tradition of the subsidence of the Lavan 
Sands (already noticed), by suggesting the possibility of 
the area they coyer having once been artificially protected 
from the inroads of the waves, which at a later period 
may have proved triumphant. In connection with this 
subject it might be worth while to inquire how far 
the Flemings, about the time when they settled in the 
peninsula of Gower (South Wales), may have roamed 
northward along the west coast of Wales, and by the 
erection of embankments, converted portions of the sea- 
bed into fertile land with human habitations. 

Submerged Forests and Raised Beaches along the 
shores of the Bristol Channel. — Among the most 
instructive of these submerged forests is the one at 
Porlock Bay on the south coast of the channel. The 
trees of this forest, according to Mr. Godwin- Austen, 
and others, must have grown on angular detritus, 
at the time when the bed of the Bristol Channel was dry 
land. As the land sank beneath the sea, the trees were 
prostrated, and Scrobicularia-mud was deposited over 
the wrecks of the forest which, at intervals, may be seen 
passing on all sides, under low-water, down to the bottom 


of the channel. From this it follows that some at least 
of the so-called submerged forests are only littoral fringes 
of what may have been a more or less continuous forest 
which once covered the present bed of the Bristol channel. 
The term Post-glacial, therefore, applies only to the 
upper parts (or the parts that can be seen between tide- 
marks) of a forest which before submergence grew to a 
greater or less extent over the whole bed of the Bristol 
channel. They would be more correctly called Post- 
glacial fringes of a pre-glacial or interglacial forest. 

Origin of the so-called Raised Beaches of the Bristol 
Channel. — To avoid unnecessary complication we may, 
once more, go back to the time when the Bristol Channel 
was dry land, more or less covered with forests. The 
depression of the land commenced; and the sea rounded 
pebbles, and accumulated sand until the maximum 
amount of depression was reached. Then the sea stood at 
the level of what are now the raised beaches, and perhaps 
as high as the beds of loamy clay with angular stones 
called "head," above the beaches. The so-called beaches 
are merely beds of rounded shingle and sand, reaching 
twenty feet in thickness, which were accumulated on the 
tidal zone by the sea, and afterwards elevated above 
the present sea-level, in some places as much as thirty 
to forty feet. Mr. Mellard Beade lately saw instances 
near Watchet, (and I remember seeing instances,) in 
which the shingle-bed — or raised beach — was underlaid 
as well as overlaid by clay, with stones. I have no 
doubt that the under clay (which is very discontinuous) 
consists of portions of beach-clay which became covered 
with beach shingle, while the upper clay with angular 
stones represents the "head" which was distributed 
over the shingle partly by rain-torrents and partly by 
the sea. After the upheaval of the raised beaches the 


sea stood at nearly its present level ; and while the land 
remained stationary, or was very slowly sinking, the 
waves and currents commenced at the level of what is 
now extreme low water, to cut into the land (which 
sloped upwards as high as the raised-beach level) and 
to wear back the coast-line so as to make cliffs, exposing 
sections of the previously- raised beaches, as well as 
sections of the Triassic rocks on which the raised beaches 
mav often be seen resting. The present tidal zone from 
the cliff-line to extreme low water is about half-a-mile 
broad, and, at extreme low water, the level at which the 
post-raised-beach denudation' commenced is shown by 
the upper limit of the stumps of trees which extend 
downwards to the bottom of the Bristol Channel. During 
this latter process of destruction by the sea of its own 
former work, it has here and there been again accumu- 
lating shingle, which thousands of years hence, may 
possibly be upheaved so as to form a secondary series 
of raised beaches similar to those which have already 
been upheaved above its surface-level. 

Raised Beach near Weston-Super-Mare. — At Birnbeck 
Cove encroachments by the sea have disclosed, or rather 
nearly destroyed, the last remnants of a genuine raised 
beach, which, as it may soon be no more, deserves a 
brief description. I found it represented at intervals 
along the top of the cliffs from the Flagstaff, as far as 
the bathing-cove, by small rounded flints, angular flints 
like chips or flakes, angular fragments of limestone, and 
loam, in places covered with a thin layer of rounded 
stones — the whole associated with land and sea-shells 
(IMtorina and TettinaJ. The raised beach assumes its 
most decided character in Birnbeck Cove — a small 
recess, which in stormy weather is one day choked up 
with blocks and shingle, and the next cleared out by the 


sea. It rests on the upturned and denuded edges of 
strata of limestone, and a conformable mass of trap 
from 30 to 40 feet thick. The following is the order of 
succession, in two sections, near to each other, where the 
different layers composing, or associated with, the so- 
called raised beach are exposed. 

Arenaceous Limestone. 

Hard Limestone (metamorphosed?). 
Trap from 30 to 40 feet thick. 
Sand with a few layers of stones. 
Raised beach exposed. 
Raised beach concealed under 
falling d6bris or grass. 

Reddish loam with angular and 
snbangnlar stones, 4 feet. 

Concretionary layers of sandstone, 
2 feet. 

Layer of nearly pore sand, 1 foot. 

Conglomerate and breccia, con- 
sisting of rounded, subangular, 
and angular stones (with 
occasional flint chips) imbedded 
in a hard ochreous matrix, with 
sea-shells, and in the upper part 
numerous bones. The stones 
sometimes lie loose, but in 
general are firmly fixed. Thick- 
ness about 4 feet. 

Raised Beaches of Devon and Cornwall. — There are 
often large boulders in the " head " which covers these 
beaches, and some of them rest on the surface of the 
beach shingle. Mr. Ussher says that the average 
height of Cornish raised beaches is about 15 feet above 
the present sea-level. In the beaches the stones are 
generally rounded, in the "head " angular. The raised 
beach at Oroyde, near Barnstaple, and many raised 
beaches in Cornwall, shew evidences of large boulders 
having been transported by floating ice. Mr. Williams 
found a block of granite in the base of the Croyde beach; 
which, according to some geologists, may have come from 
Lundy Island, and according to others from Cumberland. 
It was 6 feet long by 8 feet in thickness. Mr. Whitley 
has furnished me with a section of the raised beach at 


Porthgwidden, near St. Ives, Cornwall, The uppermost 
consists mainly of decomposed rock, which rests on 
"head." The latter is made up of angular blocks of 
greenstone, mixed with smaller fragments, and loam, all 
from the hill-slopes above. Under the head comes the 
raised beach, which consists of perfectly rounded pebbles 
in a matrix of red sand. The beach rests on greenstone 
rocks. The whole is about 20 feet thick, and the 
bottom of the section is a little above high water mark. 

Real or Supposed Subsidence of the Coasts of the 
Bristol and English Channels within Historical Times. — 
Sir Henry de la Beche was not only an accomplished 
and careful observer, but wrote a work on the art of 
observing. His opinion, therefore, ought not to be 
lightly regarded. He not only believed that beaches 
may have been raised since or during Neolithic times, 
but that parts of the coast of the Bristol Channel may 
have subsided since the time of the Romans. This 
opinion is likewise held by several good local observers. 
But before entering more fully into this subject, it may 
be desirable to explain the only two ways in which 
remains of the works or habitations of man (apart from 
damming out the sea by artificial embankments) may 
have come to exist on sea-coasts below the sea-level. 
First, the sinking of the coast after it was inhabited by 
man ; second, the occupation by man of an area below 
the sea-level which the sea was prevented from over- 
flowing by natural embankments accumulated by the sea 
itself. It may likewise be observed that many of the 
so-called submerged forests may have grown at or near 
their present level while the sea was for a time prevented 
by natural embankments from overflowing their sites. 
There are many sea-coast areas at the present day 
which are situated below either high or low-tide level. 


Among these may be mentioned the neighbourhood of 
Hull, the Fen district, parts of the coast of Essex; 
Bomney marsh, Pevensey level, and other places along 
the south coast ; parts of the west coast of Lancashire, 
&c, &c. So far as the south-eastern part of the Bristol 
Channel is concerned, the question is, would the Bomans 
be more likely to inhabit low areas of unhealthy marsh- 
land, at the risk of being overwhelmed by the sea or by 
fresh water floods, than to live in areas above or very 
little depressed below the sea-level? The following 
instances of Boman remains, which have been found 
below the present sea-level, are only a few out of the 
many which might be stated. Mr. Baker gives the 
following section near Bridgewater : — 


Fine silt 16*' 

Peat 1 \- =26 feet. 

Soft silt 9 

Gravel, with bones, shells, and Boman pottery. 

Mr. Anstice discovered traces of a Boman road across 
Brent Marsh 6 feet below the present surface. According 
to Mr. Straddling vessels now pass over the old carriage 
road to Stert Point. 

Insulation of St Michael's Mount, Cornwall. — At the 
British Association meeting in Birmingham in 1865, 
Mr. Pengelly read a paper of which the following is an 
abstract : — 

" St. Michael's Mount is an island at every high 
water, and, with rare exceptions, a peninsula at every 
low water. It is about one third of a mile from the 
mainland. Its name in the ancient Cornish language — 
"Caraclouse in Cowse," or the "Hoar Bock in the 
Wood," — is entirely inappropriate at present, and be- 
tokens a change in the geography of the district since 


Cornwall was inhabited by a people speaking a language 
which survived until a very recent period. 

" The Mount is undoubtedly the " Ictis " of Diodorus 
Siculus, whose description is still so very appropriate as 
to render it probable that two thousand years have pro- 
duced very little change. 

" The insulation must have been effected, of course, 
either by the encroachment of the sea or by a subsidence 
of the district. The former hypothesis requires such 
an enormous amount of time, and is so utterly opposed 
to various geological facts, as to render it eminently 
probable that, since Cornwall was inhabited by a race 
speaking the British language, St. Michael's Mount was 
insulated by a general subsidence of the country." 

Submerged Forests and Raised Beaches along the South 
coast of England. — There are instances of raised beaches 
in Mounts' Bay and Falmouth Harbour, on Plymouth 
Hoe, at Hope's Nose, near Torquay ; and on the Isle of 
Portland. Off Selsea Bill there is not only a submerged 
forest, but a marine deposit with shells, indicating a 
warmer climate than that now prevailing on the coast. 
Above the marine deposit there is a bed of yellow clay 
which contains immense and far-transported boulders 
of syenitic granite, so-called greenstone, &c. 

Inter-glacial Age of the Raised Beaches of the South-West 
and South of England. — From the "head," with angular 
boulders resting on these beaches ; the granite boulder 
under the Croyde raised beach, near Barnstaple ; the 
interposition between deposits with angular stones of 
the raised beaches, near Watchet, &c. ; it may safely be 
inferred that the shingle and sand of these beaches was 
% deposited between two glacial periods when ice floated 
along the sea-coasts, 


w w 


Origin of the Terraces of the South Downs, — As an 
undoubted raised beach was discovered not long ago, by 
Professor Prestwich, on Portsdown Hill, at a height of 125 
feet above the present sea-level, and as this beach lies 
some distance inland from the main part of the coast-line, 
there can be no reason for doubting that farther inland 
other raised beaches may yet be discovered. Some time 
ago — perhaps too hastily — I advocated the theory (in 
the Geological Magazine, and afterwards in my Scenery 
of England and Wales,) that the numerous terraces of 
the South Downs, called lynchets, were produced by sea- 
currents or waves. One of the best examples of these 
terraces occurs near Stockbridge, in Hampshire. That 
they were not made in the middle ages by different tenants 
cultivating narrow strips of land separated by slopes, 
was clearly shown by Mr. Baigent, of Winchester, who 
could find no records of their having been cultivated by 
man, after much searching into ancient documents. It 
is to be regretted that while geologists are wasting their 
time in going over districts which have often been 
described, without being able to discover anything really 
new, they should overlook such truly interesting problems 
as the origin of the terraces of the South Downs. 

Changes of Level along the Old Severn Strait. — Farther 
south than Gloucester there is scarcely anything that 
can be called drift, with the exception of a few trans- 
ported stones, chiefly angular. Between Gloucester and 
Oxford, Professor Phillips found northern drift on the 
oolitic hills, 750 feet above the sea ; and Mr, Lucy, a 
very careful observer, found northern drift on the summit 
of Cleeve Cloud, 1,184 feet, shewing the submergence 
of the hill to that extent. At Strethill, near Buildwas, 
Mr. Maw found marine shells in drift at a considerable 
height above the sea, and they have been found in other 

860 » 

places in the neighbourhood. Near Burton (not far 
from Much Wenlock), Mr. Maw found numerous Eskdale 
granite pebbles at a height of 800 feet, which could only 
have been transported by floating ice; and I have 
noticed granite erratics between there and Church 
Stretton at nearly the same height. Farther north, 
around Shrewsbury and Oswestry, and- in the Ellesmere 
eskers, marine shells have been found. It is certain that 
in the comparatively low ground between the Pennine 
hills on the east, and the Welsh hills on the west, the sea 
must have lingered a long time to be able to accumulate 
so much rounded drift. At that time Wales must have 
been an island, but it was not until the submergence 
had reached the height of the high-level drifts that the 
sea penetrated into its numerous valleys so as to con- 
vert it into an archipelago, that is supposing the sea had 
not been kept out by an immense expanse of land-ice. 

High-level Marine Drifts in Macclesfield Forest. — East 
of the " Setter Dog Inn," near Macclesfield, Professor 
Prestwich, in 1862, discovered sand and gravel with sea 
shells at an altitude between 1,100 and 1,200 feet above 
the sea. Mr. Sainte, of Macclesfield, in his valuable work, 
entitled Rambles round Macclesfield, gives the following 
section, about 32 feet deep, of the drift-deposits : — 

Ferruginous clay, gravel, and small boulders. 

Red sand. 

Gravel and drifted shale. 

Loamy sand. 

Drifted shale and gravel, with small boulders, 
and a few fragments of shells. 

Sand and loam. 

Coarse sand, with boulders and pebbles. 

Gravelly clay, with a few boulders. 

Dark sandy gravel, with many shells. 


High-level Drifts on Halkin Mountain.— From Moel- 
y-Gaer in the south, to beyond Holywell in the north, a 
distance of more than six miles, the comparatively flat 
summit of the mountain is more or less covered with 
rounded gravel and sand, which here and there contains 
a few shell fragments. 

To the west of Holywell, a decidedly lower boulder- 
.clay (brown or yellowish brown) with local angular 
stones, and a few rounded erratic pebbles, may be seen 
filling up hollows, and penetrating into the cavities and 
rents of the mountain-limestone. Close to Brynford 
(near Canol-y-myhydd on the Ordnance map), at a 
height of nearly 800 feet above the sea, there is a 
beautifully curvilinear series of sand eskers, containing 
fragments of sea-shells, chalk-flints, and drifted coal. 
One at least of the sand eskers is capped with coarse 
gravel. A strikingly perched esker of considerable height 
may be seen near the south end of Halkin mountain at an 
altitude of about 950 feet above the sea (Moel-y-Crio on 
the Ordnance map). The ground for a considerable 
distance from this esker declines in all directions, 
excepting on one side where, for a short distance, it is 

High-level Marine Drifts on Minera Mountain. — From 
about 1,000 feet to 1,850 feet above the sea-level, on the 
eastern slope of this mountain, one might traverse the 
ground for years without seeing any indication of marine 
drift. Having, however, accidentally heard that there 
were several gravel pits scattered over the slope, I com- 
menced a search which, during many visits, resulted in 
finding a number of gravel-pits lurking in the sides, or 
on the summit, of sand and gravel knolls. In two o£ 
these pits I found shell-fragments. Between the gravel 
knolls a number of brook channels shewed sections of 


fine gravel under clay, and I have now little doubt that 
gravel is extensively distributed under the clay. There 
were large boulders on the surface, but I could see none 
regularly imbedded in the gravel and sand. I wrote 
two papers on the subject, which have lately been 
published in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological 
Society. The rounded gravel and sand extend from 
N.N.E. to 8.8.W. over an area nearly five miles in 
length. Near Mountain Lodge I saw the rock 
(carboniferous sandstone) exposed in a quarry. Its 
surface had been broken up into angular fragments by 
glacial action, and I have no doubt the sea, by this 
cause, was furnished with the stones which it gradually 
rounded into pebbles. The drift often rises up into 
mounds which often occupy perched positions. Towards 
the south end of the drift-covered area the rounded gravel 
is only in some places visible where it has been exposed 
in brook channels, or in other positions where it may be 
seen Extending under clay. 

High-Level Marine Drifts on Moel-Tryfan. — What I 
have to say to-night concerning these drifts, will consist 
of remarks on phenomena which have been only slightly 
noticed, or not noticed at all in my papers in the Quarterly 
Journal of the Geological Society. One important fact is 
the extent to which the pebbles have been derived from 
the Cambrian conglomerate, of which a part of the 
mountain consists. Other pebbles have been derived 
from neighbouring hills, and a considerable proportion 
consist of both Eskdale and Crififell granite from Cum- 
berland and Scotland. The largest boulders on the 
surface of the clay have been partly derived from the 
immediate neighbourhood. The drift, like all drift of 
the same kind, generally rises into mounds. In sections 
I saw exposed during my third visit, the relation 


between the overlying drift and the edges of the nearly 
vertical slaty lamin© could be clearly seen, and furnished 
an answer to Dr. Hick's remarks at the meeting of the 
London Geological Society when my paper was read. 
The slates, apparently, extend under the drift as far as 
the north-west brink of the hill. The upper part of the 
slaty lamineB had evidently been broken off by a violent 
force such as that accompanying the stranding of an 
iceberg, and lain, at all angles between the vertical and 
horizontal, so as 10 lorm a bed of slate chips about three feet 
thick. There were the clearest indications of sudden 
and violent action which extended to the laminated fine 
gravel and sand, for the latter were contorted, doubled 
up, and inverted in the most extraordinary manner. 
The phenomena on Moel-Tryfan furnish a death-blow 
to the theory that land-ice could plough up shells from 
the bed of the Irish Sea and deposit them on the top of 
the mountain, for the matrix of the shells differs from 
any part of the pre-glacial bed of the Irish Sea. Land- 
ice able to accomplish this feat, must likewise have 
been able to round and arrange in laminaB and strata 
the local stones it found on the top of the hill, or to 
have created these stones during its uphill march. 

Concluding Remarks. 

With regard to the height at which sea-shells and 
marine drifts may be found in North Wales, I have to 
correct an error which has been copied from one book 
into another. The error is, that Eamsay found sands 
and gravel up to 1,800 feet above the sea, undis- 
tinguishable from what exists on Moel Tryfan, with the 
exception of shells being absent. The truth is, that 
Eamsay could find no drift like that on Moel Tryfan at 
a greater altitude, but up to 1,800 feet he saw clay 


similar to that in which he had found shells on Fridd 
Bryn-mawr (west of Llanberis) at a height of about 1,000 
feet above the sea-level. 

I have found boulders, which must have come from 
Scotland, on the top of Moel Wnion, 1,900 feet above the 
sea, accompanied, at a somewhat lower level, by a kind 
of shingle, which is probably of marine origin. 

Around Llangollen I have found Arenig Felsite 
boulders up to about 1,900 feet, so that the evidence 
furnished by boulders would make the extreme extent of 
the submergence of North Wales about 1,900 feet. 


By T. Mellabd Reade, C.E., F.G.S. 

Last summer, with the object of supplying some of the 
" missing links" necessary for the comprehension of the 
North-West of England Drift, I traversed the Ribble 
Valley from Ribchester to Moughton, beyond Settle. The 
information gained in Ribblesdale is embodied in my 
paper, Part IL, "Drift of the North-West of England," 
which, I anticipate, will be published in the May 
number of the " Quarterly Journal of the Geological 

My present purpose is to continue the traverse from 
the point where I left off in Ribblesdale across the 
Pennine Chain and the Yale of York to Scarborough, and 
then to touch upon the drift deposits between Scar- 
borough and Filey, and in Holderness from Flamborough 
Head to a point some seven miles south of Bridlington. 

See Q, J. G. S., Vol. xxxix., pp. 102-106. 


Until I arrived at Skipton I saw nothing in the way 
of drift particularly worth noting. The mountain lime- 
stone hills, with the exception of the erratic or travelled 
blocks lying scattered about the surface, seem to bear 
little trace of drift. It is only in the river valleys that 
we see it in force, but when we get to the millstone grit 
and carboniferous sandstones on the Yorkshire side of 
the Pennine anticlinal the drift deposits increase. 

Directed by my friend Dr. Eicketts, I climbed to the 
top of Embsay Crag, and, descending by a brook, found 
good sections all the way down to Whitfield Beck Mill. 
First, great blocks of grit, over which the water purled 
and poured in picturesque and refreshing cataracts. 
Then sandstone blocks mixed with sand — the dibris of 
the rocks above — and here and there a piece of limestone, 
in these cases erratics. At last I came upon the section 
to which Dr. Eicketts had specially drawn my attention, 
of which I give you a sketch. A. are limestone shales, 
much softened by water. B. is the moraine-like drift, 
containing white scar limestone and dark limestone, but 
principally grits embedded in a sandy matrix. 

In the valley of the river Aire sections are to be seen 
of river gravels, apparently nearly wholly of limestone, 
and of that uncertain age later perhaps than the glacial 
period, yet, no doubt, dating far back in post-glacial 

On the river Wharfe are to be seen huge banks of 
shingle, sand, and gravel, which the river has worked 
its way through, and which may be examined more in 
detail in the many gravel pits that have been dug into 
them. The pebbles are of rounded limestone and sand- 
stone, and are mixed with gritty sand. It may be taken 
as a general rule that higher up these rivers, and nearer 
their sources in the mountain limestone, the pebbles of 


that rock increase, while in their passage down the 
rivers through other formations they get more and more 
intermixed with the characteristic local rocks. The 
river banks are cut into terraces, but I hardly think 
they are so definitely marked as. regards level, as stated 
in the Survey Memoirs. 

At Grassington, higher up the Wharfe, a section in 
the river bank shows the drift to be of a more calcareous 
nature. There were some faint striations in the stones, 
which were rounded boulders and pebbles. 

At the Grassington lead mines occur some very 
singular circular pits, penetrating the millstone grit, here 
nearly horizontal. They are cylindrical holes, about 
twenty yards in diameter, the sides being vertical as 
regards the rock, but funnel-shaped in the overlying 
drift. Mr. Trevethan, the manager of the mines (now 
unfortunately closed), tells me they penetrate the lime- 
stone below. This remarkable phenomenon is not easy 
of explanation. Lower down the hill is a canon, the 
millstone grit being cut down in vertical walls to the 
limestone. The stream that crossed this canon has now 
taken another course in the limestone underground, and 
no water ordinarily flows down it; but a short time ago 
a great flood occurred, which, finding insufficient vent 
down the ordinary channel, burst into the old course, 
washed down a roadway crossing the canon, and moved 
boulders of three tons weight, lying in its bed, at least 
ten yards. There had been no water in the canon for 
forty years previously. 

At Ilkley there is nothing special to draw attention 
to, but a walk up the river as far as Bolton Bridge, 
shows river cliffs at various levels cut out of the valley 
drift. I confess I again failed to see the regular terraces 
described in the Survey Memoirs. Above Ilkley, on the 


high ground known as Burley Moor and Hawkesworth 
Moor, there are, according to the Survey Memoir, curious 
ridges of gravel. They " commence nearly due south of 
Hkley at an altitude of 1,175 feet, and range first in an 
easterly and then in a southerly direction to the village 
of Hawkesworth, where they terminate at an elevation 
of only 600 feet above the sea. They lie partly in 
Boulder-clay and partly on ground free from this deposit."* 

In crossing the plain of York from Knaresboro', by 
railway, we see at once that we are on ground geologi- 
cally like the Lancashire plain. Between Cattal and 
Hammerton Stations there is an expanse of New Bed 
Sandstone, but as far as Tork there are no other 
evidences of the underlying formation, except in the 
nature of the Boulder clay. 

At Tork, Mr. Walter Keeping, F.G.S., of the museum 
of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, very kindly took 
me to see what exposures of Boulder-clay there were in 
the neighbourhood. This clay is very like the lower 
bed of our Low-level Marine Boulder-clay, being sandy 
and "short" in texture. It is of a red colour. The 
contained stones are principally of millstone grit and 
carboniferous limestone, with some few far travelled 
rocks, one of which Mr. Keeping identifies with a 
porphyritic felstone he has seen in Norway ; nearly all I 
saw being rounded, but I understood I only saw the top 
part of the Boulder-clay. We also examined a gravel pit at 
Bishopthorpe Road, and here again the shingle, boulders 
and gravel were nearly all of grit and limestone, with a 
few volcanic ash pebbles from the Lake District. In 
this deposit Mr. Keeping informed me was found the 
skull of a Polar Bear. Shap granite boulders are found 
in the vale of York. 

Explanation of Quarter Sheet, 92, S. E., p. 12. 


Mr. Keeping and Mr. Moiser, F.G.S., shewed me 
what are called the " Warp " clays of the vale of York. 
They are used for brick and tile making. The following 
is a section at the Heworth Brick and Tile Yard compiled 
from my own observation, and from information from 
Mr. Moiser : — 

Surface about 50 feet above 0. D. 

Sand 8 feet — in some localities this is 20 feet 

Imperfectly laminated clay — " Warp " used for 

making bricks — 10 feet. 
Laminated clay used for tiles, 7 feet — a grit 

boulder, 18 inches diameter, was found at 

the base. 
Gravel, 4 feet. 
Laminated clay, 8 feet. 
Gravel unbottomed. 

Mr. Moiser informs me the warp clay lies in hollows 
of the Boulder clay, levelling them up. Bosses of boulder 
clay rise through the warp. In fact, one of these bosses 
was mistaken by local antiquaries for a tumulus.* 

Excavations for a gasholder on the banks of the river 
Ouse shewed about sixty feet of fresh water deposits, 
with a bed of peat, and an old road formed of branches. 
Fresh water shells and stags' horns were found in the 

On Strensall Moor a well was being bored for the 
War Department, with the view of forming a camp 
there. The following is a section (the depths being all 
from the surface) : — 

FT. IN. 

Sand 6 3 

Blue Clay 8 6 

War£ 19 


ft. In. 

Unctuous brown clay, partly laminated 

"warp" (?) 41 

Boulder clay with erratics \ 54 

Sand 55 

Boulder-clay, red and short 67 

Blue bind— Trias 94 

Do. a little different shade 112 

The boring tools were in light grey sandstone at a 
depth of 260 feet. 

A well section at Hotham Brewery, York, kindly 
supplied to me by Mr. Moiser, shewed 57 feet of Boulder- 
clay and warp resting on Triassic sandstone. 

Mr. Keeping also very kindly gave me the photo- 
graphs I now exhibit of railway cuttings in the Boulder- 
clay at York. Nos. 1 to 4 shew clays enclosed in sand 
and much contorted. The limestone boulders in No. 1 
shew very marked ice scratches. 

No. 5.— Shews a central anticlinal band. 

No. 7. — Mass of angular sand embedded in Boulder- 

No. 8. — A long section ; shewing a mass of pebbles 
on the left amounting to several cartloads, and curious 
contortions and false bedding to the right. 

Mr. J. Edmund Clark, in a paper read before the 
Geological. and Polytechnic Society of the West Biding 
of Yorkshire, 1881, gives details of two interesting sec- 
tions of fluviatile deposits near the river Ouse — one at 
Brett's Brewery, the other at the waterworks engine 
house — showing 63 feet of deposit, the surface level being 
20 feet above the river's summer level. Mr. Clark says, 
p. 488: "The Ouse, as was pointed out many years ago, 
is from 60 to 70 feet above its pre-glacial level." Thus 
we see the. phenomenon which I have shewn occurs on 


the Mersey* is repeated on the east coast in the Tyne, 
Tees, and Ouse. 

Mr. Clark also describes in detail the glacial sections 
shewn in the photographs I exhibit. He concludes: "The 
glacial beds here described most resemble the Purple 
Boulder-clays of Messrs. Searles V. Wood and Harmer. 
Their appearance, however, indicates a deposition from 
floating ice rather than, or as well as from, the moraine 
profonde of an ice sheet." He considers the drift to have 
been principally from the North- West. + 

Mr. Clark describes a bed of manganese occurring in 
post-glacial (?) gravels on the banks of the Ouse, 25 feet 
below the surface (p. 427). 

I made a stay at Malton to see the Oolites. There is 
an absence of drift in this area. At Seamer Station a 
splendid boulder of Shap granite is to be seen in the 
station master's garden. 

Coast Sections. — Between Filey and Scarborough 
numerous sections of the drift may be seen, enabling us 
to form a pretty accurate general idea of its nature and 
mode of occurrence. Commencing at Filey, we see a 
reddish purple clay imperfectly bedded, resting upon 
a purple clay of a more amorphous nature. Further 
on, at the top of the Nase, Filey, we see the Boulder- 
clay resting upon the Coralline Oolite. It is here split 
up with two parallel bands of sand. But the most 

* "Buried Valley of the Mersey ."— Proc. of L'pool. Geol. Soe., 1873. 

t Since this paper was written, Mr. Mackintosh, our President, 
has sent me reprint of a paper of his, " On the Nature Correlation and 
Mode of Accumulation of the Drift Deposits of the West Biding of 
Yorkshire." He describes two Lower Boulder-clays — a brown and a 
yellow. He says : ** I believe that the blue and yellow Boulder-clays 
run under the extensive beds of dark laminated clay and sand and 
gravel which spread out over the Vale of York/' 


noticeable feature to me was the way in which the clay 
denudes and stands up in sharp ridges and pinnacles, 
the result of an imperfect system of jointing, together 
with the hard sandy nature of the material. Such 
denudation-forms would be impossible in our Boulder- 
clay. Further on the top of the cliffs shew the Upper 
Passage-beds of the Oolite thrown up into small anti- 
clinals and otherwise contorted, the effect, it is con- 
sidered, of ice action. 

In Osgodby Nab, almost perfectly parallel lines of joint- 
ing may be seen in the Boulder-clay on the shore ; having 
a direction magnetic E. and W., they extend into the cliff. 
About a quarter of a mile further on the jointing shews 
again on the shore, now due E. and W., and all the 
Boulder-clay at the base of the cliffs is deeply gashed 
with it. At one place the jointing took parallel curved 
lines, and it extends through the denuded bosses left on 
the shore. We found shell fragments in the tilly clay in 
Cayton Bay, mostly consisting of Cyprina islandica. 
Between this point and Scarborough there was nothing 
of importance to note in glacial geology; but for lovers 
of the picturesque and those interested in the Oolitic 
geology the work has a surpassing interest.* 

Flamborough Head. — The next point of the coast I 
examined was Flamborough Head. Here the purple 
clay (I use the term in a non-geological sense) rests 
upon the cliffs of hard chalk, and is full of chalk pebbles. 
Passing southwardly along the shore under the grand 
chalk cliffs, we come next to the South Landing, odorous 
with decomposing remains of fish, and here we see a very 

* The solid geology of the. coast is admirably described by 
Mr. Wilfred H. Hudlestone, F.G,S., in " The Yorkshire Oolites,"— 
Proceedings of the Geologists* Association, vols, iv, and v, 

■^ I 


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instructive and interesting section of the drift and its 

junction with the chalk. I reproduce this section : — 
A.— Chalk. 

A y/ . — Chalk much shattered and covered with chalk 

debris, which obscures the structure. 
B. B. — Stratified beds of chalk, gravel, and sand. 
C. — Rolled rubbly chalk. 
D. — Chalk debris, rounded and subangular; two 

erratics taken out at D. 
E. — Chalk debris, contorted. 
F. — Boulder-clay, with sand beds, ff. 
G. — Chalk shingle with erratics. 
H. — Sand. 
I. — Curved beds of chalk shingle and gravel included 

in the sand. 
J. — Purple clay. 

At E. the drift butts up against a chalk cliff. 
Nearer to Bridlington, a stream at right angles to the 
shore shewed purple clays resting upon 
chalk, and split up with included beds of 
chalky gravel and shingle. 
The next excursion I took was by a boat to beyond 
Barmeston Drain, south of Bridlington; walking back 
along the shore, I noted down a continuous section of 
this drift as far as Bridlington. 

The Boulder-clay at the base is of a blue-black color, 
and gradually shades up into a light reddish brown. 
But the colour seemed more influenced by the moisture 
in the clay than due to the difference of its composition. 
It is to this part that Mr. Searles Wood's Hessle clay 
extends, according to his section.* At the N. of Barme- 
ston Drain a laminated clay comes in, which lies in an 

* " The Glacial and Post-Glaoial Structure of Lincolnshire and 
S. B. Yorkshire." Wood and Borne.— Q. J. G. S., 1868, p. 148, 



eroded surface of Boulder-clay. This is more or less 
^continuous to Bridlington, and comes in in great force 
immediately to the south of that place. Lying upon the 
Boulder-clay and laminated clays are at intervals post- 
glacial deposits of marl and peat, evidently formed in 
shallow meres that have formerly occupied this part of the 
Holderness. The peat is in some places covered with a 
flinty gravel, holding broken fragments of sea shells, 
about 4 feet 6 inches above the present beach. The 
peat also contains mussel shells. 

Mr. Lamplugh, who has worked very assiduously at 
the drift in this neighbourhood, directed my attention to 
a section displayed through the washing away of part of 
the sea wall of Bridlington Quay, immediately in front 
oi the Alexandra Hotel. This shewed what he calls, 
using Mr. Searles Wood's nomenclature, the "Basement- 
clay of Holderness/' upon which rests the "Purple 
clay." A line of erosion distinctly separates two clays, 
the lower being of a more tilly nature. North of Brid- 
lington Quay, white cyclas marls are seen resting upon 
ferruginous chalky gravel, which again rests on the purple 
Boulder-clay.* Those who wish to study this question 
should, of course, consult the late 'Professor Phillips' 
classical work on the Geology of Yorkshire, Part I., 
" The Yorkshire Coast." 

At this point my observations terminated; and having 
given you a general outline of what I saw of the Glacial 
Geology of Yorkshire, I will now proceed to analyse the 

* Much information, of a very detailed and minute nature, may 
be obtained from the following papers : — 

" Glacial Sections near Bridlington," by C, W. Lamplugh.— Proo. 
of the Geol. and Polyteo. Soc. of the West Biding of Yorkshire, 1881. 

" The Divisions of the Glacial Beds in Filey Bay."— Ibid., 1879. 

" The Boulder-clay at Bridlington."— 1 bid., Geol. Mag., Sept., 1879. 

" The Bridlington and Dimlington Shell Beds."— Ibid., Dec, 1881, 


facts, and attempt, if possible, to extract some informa- 
tion from them. 

In the first place, I may say that the course of 
my traverse was determined by the fact that I bad 
discovered, as I thought, on the western side of the 
Pennine chain, a relation between the nature of the drift 
occupying certain areas and the rocks lying in the river 
basins and valleys which must have fed these areas with 
detritus. These views will be published in the May 
number of the Quarterly Journal of the Geological 
Society, so I need not here repeat them.* 

If this view were correct, it was only natural to expect 
that the same phenomena would be repeated, modified 
by local peculiarities of ground, on the eastern side of 
the Pennine chain. 

It will be seen from what I have stated that the 
upper portions of the valleys of the Aire and Wharf e, as 
in the Kibble, are almost exclusively filled with drift, 
whether of Till or Boulder gravel, derived from the 
immediate rocks of the drainage area mixed with but a 
few erratic stones that have come from other water- 
sheds. As the rivers are descended the drift becomes of 
a more composite character from the mixture of other 
varieties of rock the rivers cut through. It is when we 
get upon the great low-lying plains in the east of 
England, as in the west, that the mass of Boulder-clay 
occurs in which we find such an extraordinary assem- 
blage and medley of materials. Bocks of all ages, from 
the cretaceous downwards— -Granites Syenites Gneiss, 
Felstones, Trappean rocks, Porphyries, and even Serpen- 
tines. A quarry of specimens, so to speak, brought to 

See Drift Beds of the North- West of England. — Quarterly Journal 
of t^e Geological Society, Vol. xxziz. 


the geologist's door from all parts — north, east, and 
west. If again we examine the nature of the clayey 
material, we also find that it is composed of materials 
brought down by the rivers from the higher lands, 
mixed with the local matter derived from the underlying 

In the Yale of Yprk, for instance, we see that the 
bulk of the contained stones are of carboniferous lime- 
stone and grits in a much larger proportion than in the 
drift in our neighbourhood. These have evidently come 
down the ordinary drainage lines of the country, but 
these lines have been crossed by far-travelled stones from 
Cumberland and the east of Scotland. The red colour 
of the drift is largely due to the mixture of the detritus 
of the Bed Sandstone beneath, which has been worked 
up into it. 

When we pass to the coast the same thing occurs, 
excepting that there is a larger admixture of travelled 
blocks contained in the drift. The oolitic and cretaceous 
rocks here form the bulk of the inclusions, and there 
exist more undoubted signs of the sea in the shape of 
shell fragments and foraminifera. The underlying rocks 
supplied debris to form the lower beds of the drift, as 
may be observed in the section near Flamborough Head. 

Giving all due heed to the opinion of those who 
ascribe all this multifarious work to land ice and that 
alone, it appears to me that the weight of evidence is 
strongly against their views. If due to an ice-sheet — 
a disrespector of watersheds — should we have the inter- 
dependance between the drift and the present drainage 
lines that I have shewn exists ? Gould an ice sheet 
from Scandinavia bring the bulk of the matter forming 
the Boulder-clays from the east ? It seems to me that 
such an explanation is invoking a tremendous agency 


to account for the presence of a few Norwegian rocks. 
On the other hand, if we bring an ice-sheet from the 
north-west to account for the distribution of Shap granite 
boulders over Yorkshire, that have evidently travelled 
through the pass of Stainrfioor, we ought to find also in 
the Yorkshire drift a large proportion of rocks from the 
south west of Scotland — granite from Criffel and Dum- 
fries, intermixed with purely Lake District rocks.* My 
limited observations do not confirm this, though it is 
possible the Galloway Drift may be met with to a small 
extent, as the general direction of the drainage lines on 
the N.E. of the Pennine chain is in that direction. But, 
as a matter of fact, I did not observe one single piece of 
granite until I reached the plain of York. Such an ice- 
sheet from the north-west would have crossed the upper 
parts of the valleys of the Lune and the Kibble, and we 
should expect to find similar evidence of its former 
existence within them. Nothing of the sort occurs. It 
is iq the low-lying clays of Lancashire as in those of the 
east coast that these far-travelled erratics are found in 
profusion, and not until we get as far south as the 
Macclesfield Hills do we find them in any abundance at 
a higher level. 

But why go out of our way to seek for an agent that 
might have done the work, when an obvious and simple 
explanation better meets the conditions of the case ? Is 
it possible for land ice to have worked up the rounded 
chalk pebbles and shingle underlying the purple clay at 
Flamborough Head? If it came from the north-west, 
in which way could it introduce marine shells into the 
clay at Bridlington and Gayton Bay, or bring gneiss 

* This occurs in the Eden Valley, but more particularly in its lower 
portion. — See " The Glacial Phenomena of the Eden Valley/' by J. G. 
Goodohild.— Q. J. G. S., 1875. 


from Norway? The drift of the plain is too much of a 
medley, it contains fragments from too many quarters, 
to be explained by such intractable machinery as land 
ice. Nor is it easy to conceive if, on the other hand, 
our explanatory agent be a Scandinavian ice-sheet, how 
a vertical cliff facing its course, such as my section 
shows at Flamborongh Head, could have retained its 
form or the shingle worn from it remain lying at the 
base. Surely such a mighty abrader would have effaced it, 
and landed portions of the chalk oolite and lias on the 
eastern flanks of the Pennine chain. 

It appears to me that the phenomena on the east of 
the Pennine chain repeat those on the west; that the 
drift in both cases only dates back to the time of the 
existence of local glaciers in the high lands; that the 
rivers then (as now) brought down, aided by frost, 
detritus which was distributed in a comparatively 
shallow sea, over which floated drift ice. Ice may have 
radiated from the Lake District, so that the Shap granite 
boulders may have been conveyed through Stainmoor by 
land ice to the sea, or until they could be taken up by 
river transport. This degraded matter from the high lands 
became mixed with the detritus of the local rocks of the 
plains, worked up by the sea during an extremely slow 
subsidence. The degraded matter of the plains may — 
and probably did — accumulate sub-aerially before sub- 
mergence, through the action of atmospheric agencies. 
Land ice, if it existed, must have pre-dated the Boulder- 
clays of the plains; but that it shrank to local glaciers 
before the submergence, and left the surface of the land 
exposed to atmospheric waste intensified by frost, is, 
I think, more than probable. In a former paper I 
attempted to show how the enormous masses of chalk 
found in the Cromer Drift were quarried out of cliffs and 


escarpments ; * and similar agencies' must have acted at 
the same time on the surface of the country, breaking 
up the rocks. That they did so, I have only to point to 
the shattered condition of the surface of the chalk under- 
lying the purple clay of Flamborough Head. It is 
eminently confirmatory of this view that mammalian 
remains found in Norfolk have been taken out of the 
crevices of the chalk which had been disturbed by ice 
action, showing that, so far from the country being 
wholly occupied by ice, large mammalia roamed over it. 
Remains of the Mammoth and Bed Deer, and even 
Elephas primigenius, have been found in "Chalk Bubble! 
Norwich." t 

If the Boulder-clay and sands of the plains — which 
I have called the " Low-level Boulder-clay and Sands" — 
were laid down in the sea in the way I have attempted 
to describe, the peculiar assemblage of rocks found in 
them present no difficulties. In fact, they occur in the 
positions that might have been predicated. I Their inter- 
crossing presents no difficulties — a change of wind only is 
required to bring them from Norway, Scotland, or the 
high ground of Cumberland. Compared with what we 
see about here, the contained rocks in the Yorkshire drift 
are not so numerous, so large, or so distinctly ice- 
marked. The clays are also full of fragments of chalk, 
oolite, and lias, and fossils derived therefrom, in a 
remarkably good state of preservation. In our own 
clays the lower beds are mixed with red sand, the dibris 

* " The Chalk Masses in the Cromer Drift."— Q. J.G.S., 1882, p. 222-288. 

t" Memoirs of the Geology of the Country around Norwich," by 
H. B. Woodward, pp. 137-8. 

\ The late John Phillips, discussing this question, " Geology of 
Yorkshire," Part I., Sec. Edition, 1875, p. 166, says : " The mixture of 
stones of different sorts, brought in different directions, is what 
requires explanation." 


of the Triassic sandstone, as appears io be the case in 
the Vale of York. The form in which the debris of the 
local rocks occur in the drift is largely dependent upon 
the nature of the rocks themselves. 

Thus then, in my opinion, the views I have put 
forward regarding our own drift may be legitimately 
used to explain that of Yorkshire. It is the same thing, 
locally modified by physiographical peculiarities. 

The " Warps' ' of the Vale of York and the laminated 
clays of Holderness represent the later phase of con- 
ditions. It is not improbable, as they seem to lie on 
eroded surfaces of the clay below, that they may have 
been laid down in shallow tidal waters during emergence. 
They contain few or no stones — only concretionary bits 
of carbonate of lime, not inaptly, from their shape and 
size, called "gingers." The underlying Boulder-clay 
may have been eroded by tidal currents and wind waves, 
previously to the land being placed by emergence at the 
exact level required to produce the extensive sheets of 
laminated clay. Nowhere that I have seen in Lancashire 
are there any beds to parallel these laminated clays, 
for nowhere do the requisite conditions obtain.* They 
evidently result from quiet tidal overflows of large tracts 
partially land-locked. 

I have said nothing as to the division of the beds 
of Low-level Boulder-clay and Sands which Messrs. 
Searles Wood and Borne have adopted. There are cer- 
tainly more marked distinctions to be seen on the east 


than the west coast, but I saw nothing in the course of 

* Occasional laminated beds occur in the Boulder-clay of Lancashire, 
and I have some very good specimens taken from excavations in a 
street in Manchester, given me by Mr. K. D. Darbishire, bat the extent 
and depth of this clay I cannot ascertain. 


my traverse to disturb my view that these drifts are 
practically a continuous deposit. I very much suspect, 
as pointed out to me by Mr. Jukes Browne, that in many 
cases contemporaneous erosion has been mistaken for 
unconformity. From what I saw of the so-called Base- 
ment-clay of Holderness and the overlying purple clay 
their separation can be fully explained in this way, but 
it is quite possible that the masses of sand and clay 
included in the Basement-clay which originally gave it 
the name of Bridlington Crag may have been derived 
from an older deposit, or they may have been littoral 
masses of the same age frozen into shore ice, torn up and 
deposited in deeper waters. In this way the preservation 
of the shells may have occurred. After reading Mr. 
Laraplugh's description, this explanation suggests itself 
to me as most likely the correct one, for in the sur- 
rounding Basement-clay fragments of the same shells 
are found. The included masses "seemed to have been 
a stratified deposit" and "a few even of the larger 
shells were in an absolutely perfect state of preserva- 
tion ; whilst those which were broken were probably broken 
either during the life of the animal or very shortly after."* 
Minute observations of the drift in various localities 
are of the utmost value, and it is to local observers we are 
usually indebted for them ; but to understand this phase 
of the -earth's history it does not do, as I soon found out, 
to rely entirely on what we see at home — to theorise 
from limited observation. On the contrary, this mass oi 
apparent confusion, called the drift, which refuses to 
yield to detached investigation, is, as I hope I have 
shewn, related to the larger features and physiography 
of the country, and capable of a full and simple 

♦ Geo. Mag., 1881, pp. 589-40. 






By G. H. Mobton, F.G.S. 

Thb Typical Section (Plate I.) showing the contour of r£ 

the country, and the subdivisions of the Carboniferous 
Limestone and Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone, as they occur 
between Gwern-y-mynydd and "The Loggerheads/' on 
the south of the Mold and Ruthin road, was described 
in connection with the country to the south of Mold. 
The country to the north presents the same subdivisions, 
though an examination of the natural exposures and 
quarries shows the succession under a different aspect. 
On the rising ground, towards Hafod, the conglomerate 
sandstone at the base of the Lower Cefn-y-Fedw Sand- 
stone crops out on the surface, and on the west the \rh 
Arenaceous Limestone is well exposed in some quarries 
along the strike of the strata, while near the Gat Hole 
Mine the lowest bed of sandstone crops out and forms a 
low ridge, about fifty feet high, on which there is a small 
plantation. About a hundred yards to the west the \ck 
highest beds of the Upper Grey Limestone are exposed, 
with the usual corals and other fossils. A little farther 
on in the same direction, the lower beds of the subdivision 
crop out and are of a lighter colour than usual, closely 
resembling strata on the same horizon near Maes-y-safn. 
The Middle White Limestone then crops up as the ground 
rises and forms Cefn-mawr, a hill with a precipitous 
escarpment towards the west. No precise line can be 
drawn between the Upper Grey and the Middle White 
Limestones, for the strata are not continuously exposed. 





rwisiria-. fenesteUaj/lelieuL. &£■ 

. LtthosiroiwTb rrretptlare . L.jimceum &c. 

"Muryi, &c. 

wlites seplosw. Syrvu/opora/g&aaileda- ccc. 
We. Vertical Scab J 'Irwk to 1000/eeb. 
ipofihs strata, J6 '£. 

y . 


Opposite "The Loggerheads" the Middle White Lime- 
stone forms the perpendicular cliff nearly 200 feet high, 
which with about 100 feet of higher beds, and 210 feet 
of limestone proved below the adit level in the Glan 
Alun Mine, give a thickness of 510 feet without reaching 
the bottom. The actual base of the limestone can be 
seen in the bed of a stream at Pwll-y-blawd, and strata 
a little above it in an old quarry at Tan-y-bryn, both 
places being about half-a-mile to the west of the lime- 
stone escarpment. At "The Loggerheads" the strata 
dip 18° S.E., at Tan-y-bryn 14° S.E., but at Pwll-y-blawd 
it is doubtful, though it seems to be 24° E.; and it does 
not seem that there can be more than 200 feet of lime- 
stone below that proved in the mine. The fault, or Caleb 
Bell Gross-course shown on the section (Plate 1) and on 
the 1st edition of the Geological Survey Map is not 
visible on the surface, but was probably discovered in 
the mine at Tyn-y-Coed, which is now abandoned. If 
there is such a fault, it is probably a downthrow to the 
west and causes the limestone to appear somewhat 
thicker in that direction. However, the 510 feet of lime- 
stone at "The Loggerheads/' and the 200 feet between 
there and Pwll-y-blawd, seem to be the most reliable 
measurement of the thickness, and probably sufficient to 
include the Lower Brown Limestone, but which is so 
partially exposed at Pwll-y-blawd that little can be seen 
of it. 

The base of the Carboniferous Limestone extends 
further west than shown on the Geological Survey 
Maps, and in 1881 there was a small opening in white 
limestone opposite Llanferres Church. The lowest beds 
are well exposed around the village of Cilcain, for 
although the country is all under cultivation, numerous 
small quarries! shown on the 6-in. Ordnance Map and 


indicated by " Limekilns," expose the strata. Close to 
the road from Pont-newydd there is a quarry in light 
grey limestone which contains Euomphalus pentangtdatus, 
fine specimens of Productus cora, Syringopora genieulata, 
and some doubtful corals, and is evidently the Middle 
White Limestone. On the south-east of the village 
there is a quarry in hard light brown limestone, which 
is divided by bedding planes without any interstratified 
shale, and represents the Lower Brown Limestone. It 
contains Productus cora &nASpirifera eUiptica, and there 
are some mineral veins and joints filled with Galcite and 
Arragonite. The veins run nearly north and south, while 
the limestone dips slightly to the east and is nearly 
at the base of the formation. At Llys-frynydd, a quarter 
of a mile to the south, there are several quarries in a 
similar light brown limestone, and in the central quarry 
it is of a sandy character. Although the limestone in 
these quarries about Cilcain contains less shale and is of a 
more massive character than the Lower Brown Lime- 
stone further south, it certainly belongs to that sub- 
division, and probably the sandy beds are limited to 
some of the lowest strata, where the limestone is thickest, 
and was deposited in the hollows of the old sea-bottom. 
The Carboniferous Limestone at Cilcain is remark- 
able for the manner in which it extends up the rising 
ground to the west— covering the Wenlock Shale with a 
sheet of limestone, which ends with a thin edge. This 
creeping of the base of the limestone up the slope of the 
hills, opposite to where it is so fully developed, proves 
that it must originally have been much thicker and have 
extended much farther west than it does now. As the 
Carboniferous Limestone also occurs in the Yale of 
Clwyd, fringing the western base of the Moel Fammau 
range, it seems probable that these hills of Wenlock 


Shale may have been originally covered by Carboniferous 
strata. The conditions are entirely different near Llan- 
gollen, where the Upper Grey Limestone overlaps all the 
lower subdivisions and rests directly on the Wenlock 
Shale, while in the country around Gilcain the whole of 
the subdivisions were deposited in regular succession, 
but have since been denuded, leaving only a thin rem- 
nant of the Lower Brown Limestone. 


Proceeding northward, the Lower Brown Limestone is 
exposed in a quarry opposite the Bailway Station, where 
about 50 feet of thin bedded light brown limestone is 
inter stratified with a few thin seams of black shale, and 
dips 10° to the north-east. Near the bottom j of the 
quarry there is a thin seam of shaley coal 4 inches 
thick, which some years ago was 6 inches, but the 
thickest portion has been removed by the quarrymen. 
In this quarry Ptoductus comoides, P. cora, and Spirifera 
lineata occur. The Lower Brown Limestone is again 
exposed in a quarry on the roadside near Melin-y-wern, 
where the limestone is of a sandy character, but 
without partings of shale. There is a band of chert, 8 
inches thick, near the bottom of the quarry, and the 
strata dip 10° to the north-east. Productus cora, Spirifera 
lineata, Syringopora reticulata, Leperditia suborbiculata, 
and obscure stems of plants occur, all species that are 
found in the same subdivision near Llangollen. 

Still further north at Ysceifiog, close to the village, 
there are quarries in the Lower Brown Limestone, and 
again half way between that place and Gaerwys, there 
are several, large ones in the same subdivision, and as 
they are all worked on the top of the hill a thickness of 
at least 100 feet seems certain. Near Bron-fadog there 


is a quarry in the Middle White Limestone where 
Chonetes papilionacea, Productus cora, and Spirifera 
elliptica occur. In all these quarries the dip of the 
strata is about 10 c to the north, or north-east. 



There are several quarries near the village of Caerwys. 
The Lower Brown Limestone is exposed in the farm-yard 
on the right of the road from the Railway Station to the 
village, where the limestone seems to be close to the 
base of the subdivision, though the underlying Wenlock 
Shale cannot be seen. The dip is 20° N., but no fossils 
were noticed. Nearer the village, at Marrion, the dip of 
the hard brown limestone is the same, and it contains 
fragments of Euomphalus, Productw and Syringopora. 
The limestone is exactly like the strata on the same 
horizon at Ysceifiog and Nannerch, so that along the 
ridge in this part of Flintshire the Lower Brown Lime- 
stone is continuous and of the same lithological character. 
The Middle White Limestone occurs on higher ground 
around the village, but is of a dark grey colour, and dips 
north-north-east. Euomphalus s.p., Chonetes papi- 
lionacea, Productus cora, Spirifera elliptica, S. lineata, 
Syringopora geniculata, and a species of CyathophyUum 
occur. The Railway Station is about a mile from 
Caerwys, but as most of the quarries are on the road, a 
few hours afford sufficient time to examine the locality. 


The Middle White Limestone is frequently exposed 
in the country to the north-west of Mold, and is of a 
uniform light grey colour, with very few fossils. There is 
a footpath from "The Loggerheads" by Font-newydd to 
Bhyd-y-mwyn along the side of the dry channel of a 


water- course, which was constructed to convey water for 
mining purposes to the latter place, about 50 years ago. 
It runs along the west of Cefh-mawr above the Alyn, 
through a rocky valley, and affords a fine view of 
the Middle White Limestone, Between "The Logger- 
heads" and Pont-newydd the cliffs of limestone are from 
100 to 200 feet high along the strike of the strata, which 
usually dip at an angle of 15° south-east. The limestone 
is usually of a light grey colour, in beds from one to 
three feet in thickness, and often of a compact character 
like marble, but there are few fossils excepting Productvs 
cora. Along this portion of the bed of the Alyn there 
are numerous open joints and many swallow-holes in the 
limestone, which absorb the water, so that in summer 
the bed of the stream is a mere series of shallow pools, 
or dry altogether, between the Glan Alun Mine, near 
" The Loggerheads," and a cliff of limestone half a 
mile north-east of Pont-newydd, where another mine ( i 
is worked. At the Glan Alun Mine the whole of the ] 
water rushes down a swallow, so that the river is then . I 
only fed by a few tributary streams, which are absorbed J 
one after the other until a considerable body of water flows 
from the base of the limestone cliff below Pont-newydd. 
There is a spring at the bottom of a talus and an adit\ < 
level from which water rushes out. Very little water \ \ 
issues from the spring in summer, and in August, 1883, ! \ 
it was almost dry, but the supply from the mine is large \ * 
and constant. It is very improbable that the whole of 
the water absorbed by the joints and swallows along the 
higher course of the Alyn finds its exit by the springs 
below Pont-newydd at the present time, though it may 
have been so when the country was in its natural con- 
dition, before any mines were worked in the district. 
Now there are many mines within a few miles from 


the Alyn, and they are usually so flooded with water 
that they have been difficult to work for many years. 
It is probable that there is a connection between 
the joints and swallows along the bed of the Alyn and 
the lodes at a considerable distance from the river. The 
Glan Alun Mine is close to the river; and the late Capt. 
W. Roberts, who was connected with it, informed me 
that there was a direct communication between the 
swallows and the levels at a considerable depth. He 
also stated that after a heavy storm of rain the water 
descended into the workings in about 24 hours, and an 
examination of the exposed limestone intersected with 
open joints over the surface of Cefn-mawr, 100 or 200 
feet above the Alyn, shows that much of the water must 
find its way from the ground above into the mine below, 
though the Alyn affords a more constant and larger 

Between the Glan Alun Mine and Pont-newydd the 
Alyn flows from south to north, but on reaching the 
latter it runs to the north-east, and as it crosses the 
strike of the beds there are cliffs, or rapidly rising 
ground on each side, until oh reaching Bhyd-y-mwyn it 
begins a circuitous course to the Dee. The Middle White 
Limestone forms the cliff at the base of which the springs 
enter the Alyn, but at a higher level the Upper Grey 
Limestone succeeds and forms a belt of ground running 
north and south. The Arenaceous Limestone then 
follows in ascending order with a rapid easterly dip, and 
there are many exposures of it on both sides of the 

Between Gwern-y-mynydd and Rhyd-y-mwyn the 
Arenaceous Limestone is frequently exposed, particularly 
in some quarries at Pant-y-buarth and Waen, which is 
Trinity Church on the X-inch Survey Map. A little west 


of Waen the sandstone beds interstratified with the lime- 
stone crop out on the north of the road, and the Upper 
Grey Limestone occurs, in front of the " Crown Inn," 
while still more west the Middle White Limestone crops 
out, and is conspicuous on the surface as the ground 
descends to the Alyn. 

One of the finest sections in Flintshire is exposed 
along the Hendre Valley, about a mile north of Bhyd-y- 
mwyu, where the railway and the road run through a 
gorge in the Carboniferous Limestone. The strata are 
quarried on both sides, but principally on the north, 
where the Upper Grey and Arenaceous Limestones 
are both seen in a continuous section. The strata 
were measured when with Mr. A. Strahan, F.G.S., as 
follows : 


FT. IN. 

I White sandstone 11 

Thin bedded limestone 6 

Limestone with chert at the top 25 

Eubbly limestone 9 

Hard white limestone 14 

Sandy limestone 45 

Bubbly limestone and black 

shale 55 

K Yellow sandstone 24 

Limestone. \ 



Upper Grey 


FT* IK. 

Thin bedded limestone and 

black shale 50 

Grey limestone 10 

Thin bedded grey limestone ... 66 

Black shale ,... 7 

Thick bedded grey limestone ... 74 
Black shale, not exposed, but 

obtained from a boring 20 


It is probable that the upper portion of the Aren- 
aceous Limestone is absent, being faulted against the 
Coal-measures, for it is only half the thickness of the 
subdivision at Gwern-y-mynydd. The Upper Grey 
Limestone is nearly all exposed, and presents the most 
complete section of it in the district. The foregoing 
section gives the thickness and lithological character of 
the strata, and the numerous fossils that occur are 
identical with those found on the same horizon in other 
localities. The following species were obtained from the 
7-feet bed of black shale in about ten minutes, and no 
doubt a few hours in the quarries would considerably 
increase the list: — Athyris ambigua, Orthis Mitchelina, 
0. resupinata, Productus giganteus, P. longispinus, P. 
semireticulatus, Spirifera bisvlcata, Alveolites septosa, 
Litho8trotion irregulare, and Lonsdaleia florijormis. 

In addition to these subdivisions the Middle White 
Limestone is well exposed along the railway cutting about 
a mile further on. and the Lower Brown Limestone 
occurs at Nannerch in its typical form as already 
described. The subdivisions into which the Carbon- 
iferous Limestone is divided are so fully exposed between 
Bhyd-y-mwyn and Nannerch. that there is no other 


locality where they may be examined in such a short 

The rising ground to the north-east of Bhyd-y-mwyn 
is formed of Goal-measures, which are faulted against 
the Arenaceous Limestone, and on the plateau above the 
Bhos-esmore Mine is situated; but there is no exposure 
of the strata of consequence nearer Jihan Moel-y-Gaer, 
998*5 feet above ordnance level. On the summit there 
is an ancient British Entrenchment about 200 yards in 
diameter, from which a fine view of the surrounding 
country is obtained, especially of the Halkin mining 
district, in a north-westerly direction, dotted over with 
quarries and mines as far as the eye can reach. On the 
west side of Moel-y-Gaer, close to the top, the Lower \ 
Cefh-y-Fedw Sandstone occurs, about 20 feet of it being \ 
exposed in some small quarries. It is a fine grained I 
white sandstone with^iiartz pebbles, which occur at 
intervals and in lines a few inches thick, as at Bryn 
gwyn, near Gwern-y-mynydd. The sandstone in some 
beds gradually becomes quartzite, and in others has been 
altered into chert. This alteration of sandstone into 
quartzite and chert may sometimes be seen within the 
space of a few inches. On the south-east of the hill 
there is an old quarry, where the Lower Cefn-y-Fedw 
Sandstone is again seen reposing on the top of the 
Arenaceous Limestone, as shown in the following 
section : — 

FT. IN. 

Lower beds [White cherty sandstone 15 

of the Lower J White and black shale 8 6 

Cefn y-Fedw Grey sandstone, with quartz 

Sandstone. I pebbles at the top 8 6 




IT. IN. 

Vpper beds (white and black shale 8 

of the I Thin bedded ji meB tone 10 

Arenaceous l Thick 10 „ 



The strata in this quarry as well as on the other side 
of the hill, dip 80° W. ; but as the oherty sandstone at 
the top of the section is evidently the same as the beds 
exposed on the west of the hill, there must be a fault 
between. The lower part of the quarry is now partially 
filled up with debris from a shaft on one side of it, and 
Productus giganteus, P. longispinus, Spirifera bisulcata, 
Alveolites septosa, and Lithostrotion irregvlare, were seen 
in the limestone and shale brought up. 

About a mile to the north-west there is another 
conspicuous hill, Moel Ffagnallt, 833*6 feet high, 
remarkable x>n account of the arched form of the strata. 
The highest bed is a sandstone, which is 6 feet thick, 
and dips 30° to the west on that side of the hill; while 
on the east side it is 9 feet thick, and dips 32° to that 
direction. Under this sandstone, and forming the arch, 
or dome, there are about 40 feet of a light-grey limestone 
which belongs to the base of the Upper Black, or the top 
of the Upper Grey Limestone. The persistent character 
of the Lower Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone and the sandstones 
associated with the Arenaceous Limestone has been 
described as occurring in the country to the south ; but 
they end abruptly at Moel-y-Gaer and Moel Ffagnallt, 
and it is remarkable that there is no trace of them to 
the north of those hills. It does not seem that any fault 
cuts off the sandstones, for a little further north, about 
Halkin, the same subdivisions are exposed, without any 
interstratified sandstones, so that they must have thinned 


out, while the limestone strata are continuous. The 
character of the deposits probably changed on account 
of some physical alteration in the area of which nothing 
is now known. It may have been caused by a change in 
the direction of the currents at the time the strata were 
being deposited ; for such alterations in the nature of 
the bed of the sea are well known, and sometimes there 
are sedimentary changes along coast lines for which it is 
difficult to account. 


In the country around Holywell the Oherty Shale, in \ I 
the absence of the Lower Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone, rests 
directly on a subdivision of black limestone, some beds 
of which are called the Aberdo limestone, and worked 
for the manufacture of cement. From its position and 
fossils it is evident that this black limestone, with its 
associated shales, is the continuation northward of the 
Arenaceous Limestone, after the sandstone beds inter- 
stratified with it more south have thinned away. But, 
as the name of the subdivision seems inapplicable in the 
north of Flintshire, I propose to call it the Upper Black 
Limestone, and to consider it as the top of the Carbon- 
iferous Limestone. It will be convenient here to give 
the general succession of the Carboniferous Limestone 
and Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone as they are presented under 
a different aspect in the north of Flintshire compared to 
the south of the county as given at a former page. 



Subdivision. ta feetf 8 Locality where, veil exposed. * 

Gwespyr Sandstone . . f 120 .. . Gwespyr and Ffynnon- 






Cherty Sandstone 250 .. . Halkyn, Pentre Halkin, 

and Gronant. 


Subdivision. ™ °*£™* Locality where well exposed. 

Upper Black Limestone . . . 200 . . . Pen - y - ball, fiolywell 

Common, and Prestatyn. 

Upper Grey Limestone . . . 150. . .Halkin and Gwaenysgor . 

Middle White Limestone . . . 600 . . Crecas, near Holywell, 


Lower Brown Limestone... 200... Nannerch, Caerwys, and 

Moel Hiraddug. 


In the country about Holywell and Halkin the Car- 
boniferous Limestone is traversed by so many faults 
that the exact correlation and succession of the strata is 
often uncertain; and the determination of the thickness 
of the subdivisions only estimated by that actually seen 
and by general observations over a large area. The 
Lower Brown Limestone at Nannerch and Caerwys has 
already been described, and the Middle White Limestone 
is worked in two large quarries at Crecas, near Pantasa, 
and it occurs along a broad belt of cultivated ground 
between Holywell and Caerwys. The Upper Grey 
Limestone succeeds in ascending order, followed by the 
Upper Black Limestone, with the Cherty Sandstone, the 
lowest subdivision of the Cefn-y-Fedw Sandstone, resting 
upon it, and the junction of the two latter subdivisions 
may frequently be seen. There is a gradual change 
from the highest beds of the Upper Black Limestone to 
those of the Cherty Sandstone, which is succeeded by 
the Gwespyr, or Ffynnon-groew Sandstone, while higher 
in the series the Holywell Shale representing the Lower 
Coal-measures is followed by the Productive Coal- 




Having given the general succession of the sub- 
divisions at Holywell, a more minute description may be 
given, with the exception of the Lower Brown Limestone, 
which has already been described. The Middle White 
Limestone may be easily examined at Crecas, where the 
limestone occurs in thick beds of a uniform white colour. 
Pew if any fossils occur in it, so that it would require 
considerable time and patience to make a list from the 
specimens that might be found in it, and this paucity of 
fossils is so general with strata of this subdivision as to 
account for so few being recorded. The Middle White 
Limestone is not so well exposed anywhere else near 
Holywell, and the quarries at Crecas are of additional 
interest from the base of the Upper Grey Limestone 
being exposed at the top of the limestone. The line 
of separation is the thin bed of black shale shown in the 
following section of the strata in the east quarry, for in 
the one further west there is little, or no shale between 
the subdivisions, though the difference between them is 
scarcely less discernable. 

FT. IN. 

Broken limestone and drift 10 

Base of 
Upper Grey. 

Thin bedded grey limestone 10 

Black shale 6 

Upper beds of] 
Middle White I Thick bedded white limestone ... 45 

Limestone. ] 


About 50 feet of the Upper Grey Limestone are 
exposed in another quarry, on the tramway, a little to 
the east, where the limestone is of a light grey, which 


weathers to white, and is near the base of the sub- 
division. Fossils are numerous, and include Productus 
cora, P. giganteus, P. latissimus, P. semireticulatus, and 
others. The Upper Grey Limestone, however, is not 
well exposed on Pen-y-ball, the hill above Holywell, but 
occurs further south near Halkin, where there is a fine 
section of it at the Halkin Limestone Quarry, and about 
106 feet exposed, with the upper beds of the Middle 
White Limestone below it, and the dip is 16° to the 


FT. IN. 

Upper Grey 

Grey limestone, with thin nodules 

of chert 15 

Sandy grey limestone 8 

Grey limestone, with encrinites.. 8 

Sandy limestone 5 

Thin bedded grey limestone, top 

ofquarry.... 28 

Grey limestone 5 

Thin bedded grey limestone 5 

Black shale, with ferruginous 

stains 1 

Grey limestone, used for gate 

posts, &c 5 6 

Thin bedded grey limestone 81 6 


Upper bedB y 
of the 

Thick bedded white limestone... 50 

Middle White 

The usual fossils occur in the Upper Grey Limestone, 
and a fine specimen of Orthoceras giganteivm about four 


feet in length was found, a few years ago, just about 
the top of the lowest " Thin bedded grey limestone." The 
quarry is worked by Mr. Thomas Davies, who showed 
me the position in which the Orthoceras was found, and 
measured the 69 feet in the precipitous wall of the 
quarry, the higher beds being on the top of the hill. 

The highest beds of the Upper Grey Limestone in 
Denbighshire and the south of Flintshire form a regular 
coral reef, but in the country about Holywell the 
numerous faults render it difficult to examine the beds 
on any particular horizon for a great distance, and the 
upper beds of the subdivision are seldom exposed. There 
is, however, a quarry a quarter of a mile south-east of 
Brynford, where the top of the Upper Grey Limestone 
is exposed, and the coral beds extend for about 50 yards 
from north to south. With the exception of a single speci- 
men of Litho8trotion basaltiforme, a rare species in North 
Wales, all the others are large branching masses of 
L. irregtdare, and seem limited to a thickness of two or 
three feet, by no means conspicuous, for the limestone is 
hard, and the corals do not weather out as they usually 
do in other localities that have been previously described. 
In several places on the hill- side below the quarry with 
the coral beds, and about 50 feet under them, some beds 
of encrinital limestone crop out, with a visible thickness 
of 7 feet. These encrinite beds seem limited to a par- 
ticular horizon, though many other beds of limestone 
contain scattered stems, and are to be seen most fully 
exposed in some quarries one mile west of Fentre Halkin 
and about half that distance south of Fant-y-pydew. In 
one of these quarries the encrinite beds are 16 feet thick, 
but in another they are only 10 feet, and evidently vary 
in different places. Near the top of the section at the 
Halkin Limestone Quarry the thickness is 8 feet, and 


there is a small quarry at Pen-y-ball top, only half a 
mile from Holywell, where 6 feet of encrinital limestone 
is visible, and seems to be in the Upper Grey Limestone 
near where it is faulted against the Upper Black Lime- 
stone. If the encrinite limestone is always on the same 
horizon, it affords a valuable datum for ascertaining the 
thifckness of the beds belonging to the Upper Grey 
Limestone above those exposed in the Halkin Limestone 
Quarry, and an additional 30 feet would complete the 


The next subdivision in ascending order is the Upper 
Black Limestone, which is .well exposed in many quarry 
sections on Pen-y-ball, and represents the Arenaceous 
Limestone of the south of Flintshire. It consists of 
thin beds of black limestone with partings of shale, and 
some of the former are known as the "Aberdo Lime- 
stone," which is used in the manufacture of hydraulic 
cement. The following gives the section of strata 
exposed at Grange, north-west of Holywell : — 

FT. IN. 

Made ground 10 

Drift 10 

Middle beds 

of the 

Upper Black 


Thin bedded black limestone, 
with 2 or 8 thicker beds 

near the bottom 23 

Black shale 6* 

Solid grey limestone 9 

Thin limestone, Aberdo, in thin 

beds 14 

46 6 

The Aberdo limestone has been worked on the dip for 
about 50 yards, when a downthrow fault brings in the 


overlying Cherty Sandstone. Inter stratified with the 
black limestone, containing few fossils, are several 
thick beds of grey or brown limestone, crowded with 
Productus giganteus, which are rejected by the limeburners 
and used for rough building purposes. Large blocks of 
this grey limestone may be seen lying about the surface 
of the ground, and at Glwt Militia they are placed in 
succession so as to form a wall along the edge of the 
quarries, which present the following section : — 

FT. IN. 

Grey limestone 8 


Thin bedded black limestone ... 12 

Black shale 2 0* 

Grey limestone 5 

L Thin bedded black limestone ... 25 

Middle beds^ 

of the 

Upper Black 




The quarries at Clwt Militia extend for above a quarter 
of a mile; the same beds are worked along the whole of 
them, and the strata dip about 5° to the north-east. 

These two sections, however, only show a small por- 
tion of the Upper Black Limestone, as it is more fully 
exposed at Pant-y-pydew, a mile and a half to the south- 
east, as shown in the following section: — 

FT. IN. 

Drift and broken rock 14 

Middle beds 

of the 

Upper Black 


'Grey limestone ;. 7 

Thin bedded black limestone ... 9 

Black shale 9* 

Grey limestone, 8 or 4 beds 12 

Thin bedded black limestone ... % 20 

Thin „ „ „ ,.. 20 

68 9 


Although the strata in the different quarries vary in 
detail, there is a close general resemblance between 
them. There are numerous thin partings of shale 
between the beds, and the black limestone weathers to a 
brown colour. The shale marked with an asterisk is on 
the same horizon in each section, and it is from the 
strata below the 9-feet bed that the limestone for making 
cement at Grange was obtained; so that it indicates 
the underlying position of the Aberdo limestone. The 
composition of this black limestone seems to vary, and 
whether that at Grange was the best for the purpose, or 
whether it was obtained there because it was the nearest 
to Holywell is uncertain, but it has not been worked 
underground in the same manner anywhere else. 

The highest beds of the Upper Black Limestone 
consist of a series of dark grey beds, which may be 
examined in several places, and form the top of the 
Carboniferous Limestone. They are most fully exposed 
in a quarry a few hundred yards to the east of Brynford, 
where about 40 feet of thick bedded limestone occur, 
which dips 7° to the north-east and weathers to white, 
but when recently broken varies from light and dark 
grey to brown and black. It contains Productus giganteus 
and P. fimbriatv*, and there are some concretions of 
chert in the beds near the top of the quarry. Strata on 
the same horizon again occur on the hill above the large 
quarries at Pant-y-pydew, where the* solid dark grey 
limestone is made into gate-posts and tomb-stones, in a 
little quarry quite on the top and close to the outcrop of 
the overlying Gherty Sandstone. The following is a 
section of the whole of the Upper Black Limestone 
exposed at Pant-y-pydew, and it is the most complete 
exposure of the strata in the district, though the lowest 
beds of the subdivision are not exposed. 




Upper Black 


' Thin beds of limestone and chert 4 
Thin bedded limestone and chert, 

in nodular bands 9 

Thick bedded grey limestone, 

used for gate-posts 20 

Limestone, not well exposed ... 25 

Thin bedded black limestone ... 80 

Black shale 1 0* 

Grey limestone 10 

Thin bedded black limestone, 

base not visible 60 


Interstratified with both the 80-feet and 60- feet of 
black limestone there are local grey limestones, but they 
are not so persistent as the " Grey limestone, 10 feet," 
though all abound with large specimens of Prodtwtus 

At Pant-y-pydew there are two instances of denuded 
surfaces, but they only extend over very limited areas 
and are more properly examples of false-bedding. The 
highest of these is along the bottom of the "Thin bedded 
limestone and chert in nodular bands/' which rests on 
the denuded surface of the underlying " Thick bedded 
grey limestone used for gate-posts." The other and 
lower example is more remarkable and extends over a 
greater area, being perhaps 100 yards across, where it 
seems that the surface of the lower " Thin bedded black 
limestone " was worn into a channel, or gully, before 
the overlying bed of "Grey limestone " was formed over 
it. It is from the shale partings between the upper 
portion of the 60-feet of "Thin bedded black limestone," 


that the species of Polyzoa recently described by Mr. G. 
W. Shrubsole, F.G.S., of Chester, were obtained, and of 
which Fenestella plebeia is the more numerous, but 
Serpulites carbonarius and other fossils occur in the same 
beds. I found them when with Mr. John Aitken, F.G.S., 
about 14 years ago ; they crowded the shale then, and 
have been collected ever since. 


The Cherty Sandstone, or Lower Cefn-y-Fedw Sand- 
stone, is the next subdivision in ascending order, and is 
composed of a series of strata of chert, sandstone, and 
shale, but principally chert. Originally the strata were 
formed of sandstone, some of which is very fine grained 
with subordinate bands of shale. The sandstone has been 
for the most part converted into chert, but many beds are 
of an intermediate character and some are quartzite. 
Most of the chert is white, but some of it is black, while 
the shale is usually white, stained by iron-oxide. The 
chert is extensively worked near Pentre Halkin, and has 
been for above a hundred years. Pennant states that 
in his time it was quarried and sent to the Potteries, and 
it is still sent there, being used in the construction of 
grinding floors. About Halkin many of the shafts of the 
lead mines pass through the Cherty Sandstone with the 
Upper Black Limestone below, so that chert is to be 
seen strewn over a considerable area. The thickness of 
the Cherty Sandstone exposed along the outcrop is 
about 100 feet, but it is probably about 250 feet alto- 
gether. At Pentre Halkin the white shale, interstratified 
with the chert, contains Chonetes Hardrerms and Pro- 
ductus Umgispinus, and sometimes the chert contains 


The Cherty Sandstone crops out along the country 
to the north-west of Holywell, but is not much exposed 
nearer than Gronant, near Prestatyn, where it often 
appears on the surface, and is extensively worked in a 
large quarry. The strata exposed are about 100 feet in 
thickness, and dip 15° to the north-east. The chert 
beds vary from a few inches to a foot in thickness, 
and are of a dark brown or black colour. The top 
and bottom of each bed is a hard fine grained brown 
sandstone, and only the centre is chert, which some- 
times resembles flint, and occasionally in hand specimens 
a bluish opal. The partings between the strata are merely 
bedding planes, for there is little or no shale between 
them, and the beds are remarkably alike throughout. 

The shaft of the Talacre and Gronant Mine at 
Gronant, Gapt. H. Ellis informed me, is 812 feet deep, 
and entirely in the chert to the depth of 800 feet. 
Below the chert there are beds of shale, limestone, and 
a white calcareous sandstone, evidently the top of the 
Upper Black Limestone. This shaft affords the most 
reliable measurement of the Gherty Sandstone, in the 
north of Flintshire, and, allowing for the dip, 250 feet is 
the thickness it is assumed to be. 


The Cherty Sandstone is succeeded by the Gwespyr 
Sandstone, which represents the Upper Cefn-y-Fedw 
Sandstone. Little is seen of this subdivision about 
Holywell, though the base of it occurs near Highbrook 
and Ey ton's Shaft, places within a mile north-west of the 
town. In both there is a section of 20 or 80 feet of yellow 
sandstone, evidently just over the Cherty Sandstone, and 
I am indebted to Mr. J. J. Williams, C.E., F.G.S., 
for pointing it out to me. It is, however, around 
the village of Gwespyr, about three miles west of 


Prestatyn, that the sandstone so named may be seen 
exposed in its fall development, in about six quarries 
worked along the strike of the beds. The sandstone is a 
thick bedded rock of a greenish grey colour, extensively 
used for architectural purposes, as in the new church at 
Prestatyn. There are two beds of shale about the 
middle of it; they occur in most of the quarries, and the 
sandstone usually dips about 10° W. or W.S.W., but 
varies, and is only 5° W.N.W. in the quarry to the 
north of the others. On the Mostyn Estate the Gwespyr 
Sandstone is worked, and it must have been for many 
years, for near the Hall there is a large quarry where 
ivy covers the rocky cliff and trees have grown around, 
giving a romantic aspect to the spot. The following 
shows the strata exposed in the north quarry referred to : — 

FT. IN. 

/Grey sandstone , 25 

Shale 2 

Grey sandstone 10 

Shale 2 

^Grey sandstone 50 



In the quarry now worked in the Park there are 
some remarkable concretions of sandstone, about three 
or four feet in diameter, associated with the lowest 
visible beds. They are more or less spherical, some are 
egg shaped, and others of an irregular form. Where the 
sandstone has been removed these concretionary nodules 
have been left in the quarry, and are interesting objects 
to all who see them. I estimated the thickness of the 
Gwespyr Sandstone to be 100 feet, but afterwards, when 
with Mr. C. E. de Eance, P.G.S., we thought 120 feet 
might be a nearer approximation, 



By G. H. Mobton, F.G.S. 



The Carboniferous Limestone is well developed in 
Belgium, and there are three localities where it may be 
seen to advantage and the fossils collected. These are 
Vise, near Liege, Waulsort, near Dinant, and Tournay, 
in the west of Belgium. 

At Vise the upper beds of the calcaire carbonifere 
are well exposed in a series of quarries along the , east 
side of the Biver Meuse, and are succeeded by the systeme 
houilier sans houiller, represented by thick beds of shale. 
The limestone is of a grey colour, and is remarkable for 
the great number of fossils it contains, though it is so 
hard that it is difficult to obtain good specimens. There 
are many to be obtained where the rock has weathered, 
and Euomphalus acutus, Productus cora, P. punctatus, 
P. 8emireticulatu8, Spirifera glabra, S. lineata, and S. 
pingui8 are some of the most frequent. Between the 
limestone and the overlying shale there is about four 
feet of black chert. 

At Waulsort, a few miles south of Dinant, the 
middle beds of the Carboniferous Limestone are exposed 
in a precipitous cliff along the railway, half a mile to the 
east of the station, at a place known as Les Pauquis, 
where the limestone is thick bedded and of a light grey 
colour. Euomphalw pentangulatus, Spirifera bisculata, 
S* Mosguensis, and S, striata were collected, and many 


other species might be obtained by breaking up the 
fragments of limestone which form a talus on the side 
of the cliff. 

At Tournay the lowest beds of the Carboniferous 
Limestone are exposed in some large quarries on the 
south-east of the town. The limestone is black and 
thin bedded with Productus, punctatus and several corals, 
including Syringopora. It is used as flags in many towns 
in Belgium, and the pavements along the streets of 
Brussels, particularly when wet, exhibit beautiful 
sections of Gasteropods and corals. 

Each of these localities has yielded a great number 
of fossils, and lists containing most of the species are 
given in Dewalque's "Geology of Belgium/ ' 2nd Edition, 
1880, but Prof. L. G. de Koninck has added many new 
species since. Many of the specimens found at Tournay 
are remarkably perfect, such as Orthoceras canaliculatum, 
Nautilus Konincki, Pleurotomaria Yvani, and Euomphalw 
crater iformis, and others. 

The Carboniferous Limestone is well exposed along 
the banks of the Meuse, from Liege south-west to Huy 
and Namur. The strata are often vertical for consider- 
able distances, and as some of the beds have been 
denuded, while others project in rib-like masses, very 
beautiful scenery is produced, unlike that of the same 
formation in England or Wales. Where the strata are 
less inclined, the river valley resembles that of the Avon 
at Clifton, though on a grander scale, for the cliffs along 
the Meuse extend such a great distance, and present an 
ever varying precipitous limestone escarpment. ' The, 
driver valley is usually less than a quarter of a mile wide, 
and the river, the railway, and a good road run along 
side by side. With the rocky precipitous cliffs always in 
view, the country appears to be of a hilly character, while 


in reality it is very flat, for on ascending the cliff a tame 
uninteresting country is seen stretching away as far as 
the eye can reach. The vertical limestone at Dinant has 
a fortress on the top commanding the town, from which 
a magnificent view is obtained of the valley of the 
Meuse, and the mind is naturally led to reflect on the 
enormous time that the river has flowed along to deepen 
its channel about 200 feet. 


By G. H. Morton, F.G.S. 


The Map exhibited is a portion of the 25-inch 
Ordnance Map, geologically coloured to show the Upper 
Mottled Sandstone, Keuper Sandstone, and Red Marl, 
over an area of about half a mile, the Map being 22 
inches in diameter. Few localities show so many faults 
in such a limited area, for 22 are shown on the Map, 
and the places where they are exposed are indicated by 
an asterisk. Of these faults 17 run nearly north and 
south, and only 5 run east and west. Although the 
faults on the Map are continued for various distances, it 
is impossible always to prove the exact direction, or even 
the continuity, of some of them, but great care has been 
taken to obtain the true bearings ; and though some of 
the lines may hereafter require correction, the Map as 
exhibited conveys a correct idea of the complicated dis- 
locations that have taken place. The great length of 
the north and south faults, compared with those running 



east and west, is remarkable, and the enormous pressure 
indicated by the long slips of sandstone that have been 
cut so near together by the long parallel fractures. 
Another source of interest in connection with the faults 
is the upthrow of the strata, about 100 feet, to the north 
by an inferred fault running east and west, just north of 
the National School. This fault has not been exposed, 
but is laid down in order to account for the appearance 
of the footprint bed at the surface, a few hundred yards 
to the north, where, in the absence of such a 
fault, it would be at a considerable depth beneath the 
surface. There is, however, an east and west fault 
visible in an old quarry, just south of the road which 
runs east and west, but it is a small downthrow to the 
north and throws the footprint bed down, instead of up 
to the north. Consequently, to account for the upthro^ 
of the strata 100 feet it is necessary to infer the existence 
of the fault described. 

The thickness of the Keuper Sandstone in the 
Storeton Quarries is about 208 feet, the highest beds 
being just over the footprint bed and faulted against the 
Eed Marl. The upper beds of the Keuper Sandstone have 
been denuded at Storeton, and those that remain are only 
about half the thickness of the formation at Liverpool. 
Since the publication of " The Geology of the Country 
Around Liverpool," in 1868, a basement bed of 60 feet 
has been proved, below the Keuper described and shown 
in a section of the strata at the Storeton Quarries in that 
work. The Eed Marl formation has also been discovered 
since that year, but it is only exposed in one of the 
northern quarries. Future excavations may add 
additional interest to the petrology of the Storeton 
Quarries, but if appropriated for building purposes little, 
if any, more information will be obtainable. 






A. C. RAMSAY, F.R.S., F.G.S., London. 

JOHN MORRIS, F.Q.S., London. 



HENRY HICKS, F.G.S., M.R.C.S.E., London. 

W. KING, D.So., Queen's College, Galway. 

JOHN W. JUDD, F.R.S., F.G.S., London. 



•ARCHER, F., B.A., Boundary Cottage, Crosby. 

14, Gook Street. 
"fBEASLEY, H. C, Prince Alfred Road, Wavertree. 
♦BOSTOCK, R., 8, Grange Lane, Birkenhead. 
•BROWN, J. CAMPBELL, D.Sc, F.C.S., 27, Abercromby Square. 
DA VIES, C, 8, Kinglake Street, Edge Hill. 
DODD, J., 2, Derby Terrace, Rock Ferry. 
*fESERIGGE, R. A., F.G.S., The Woodlands, New Brighton. 

18, Hackin's Hey. 
FITZPATRICK, M., 62, Seel Street. 
FITZPATRICK, J. J., 62, Seel Street. 
fFOSTER, E., 7, Newstead Road, Smithdown Road. 
GREEN, A., York House, Old Chester Road, Rock Ferry. 

9, Canning Place. 
GRIFFITHS, J., 4, Exton Park, Chester. 
•HALL, H. F., F.G.S., Green Heys, Grove Road, Wallasey. 

17, Dale Street. 
HANCE, E. W., LL.B. (Hon. Treasurer), Municipal Offices, Dale Street. 
HATHAWAY, T., C.E., The Mount, Bangor, North Wales. 
HERDMAN, W. A., Prof., D.Sc, F.L.S., F.R.S.E., University College. 
•HIGGINS, H. H., Rev., M.A., Rainhill. 
HEWITT, W., B.Sc, 21, Verulam St., Upper Parliament St. 
JACKSON, G. 0., 15, Trafalgar Road, Birkdale, Southport. 
JOHNSON, J. H., F.G.S., 64, Albert Road, Southport. 
JONES, T., Top Lane, Wallasey. 

Orange Court, Castle Street. 
sLEA, T., Yale Cottage, Huyton Quarry. 
LEIGH-GREGSON, S., Aigburth Road. 

Slater Court, 5, Castle Street. 


•MACKINTOSH, D., F.G.S., 82, Glover St., Borough Road, Birkenhead. 

*MoCLAY, J. L., Rose Villa, Victoria Road, Oxton. 

•MARRAT, F. P., 21, Einglake Street. 

MATER, J., F.S.A., Pennant House, Lower Bebington. 

MANSELL, Rev. J., 10, Kremlin Drive, Stoneycroft. 

•MOORE, T. J., G.M.Z.S.L., Newsham Drive, Newsham Park. 

Liverpool Museum. 
•MORGAN, A., 3, Aughton Road, Birkdale. 

* 10, St. George's Crescent. * 

MORTIMER, Captain, Liverpool. 
•fMORTON, G. H., F.G.S., F,R.G.S.I. (Hon. Secretary), 4, Onslow Rd., 

Elm Park. 122, London Road. 
fMOTT, C. G., Sunnyside, Cavendish Road, Birkenhead. 
McMILLAN, A., Conway, North WaleB. 
PATERSON, J., C.E., F.G.S-., Palmyra Street, Warrington. 
PEARSE, W., 21, Harrington Street. 

Green Bank Farm, Wavertree. 
•fPICTON, Sir J. A., F.S.A., Sandy Knowe, Wavertree. 

4 and 5, Queen Buildings, Dale Street. 
•POTTER, C, 101, Miles Street. 

PEARSON, J. E., Golborne Park, near Newton-le-Willows. 
QUILLIAM, W. H., 30, Rufford Road, Fairfield. 
•fREADE, T. M., C.E., F.G.S., Park Corner, Blundellsands. 

Canning Chambers, 4, South John Street. 
•fRICKETTS, C, M.D., F.G.S., 22, Argyle Street, Birkenhead. 
•{ROBERTS, I., F.G.S., Kennessee, Maghull, Lancashire. 

39, Gardner's Row. 
RICHARDSON, W. A., Valley Lodge, Borough Road, Birkenhead. 
ROBINSON, J. J., Blundellsands Road, Great Crosby. 
SHONE, W., F.G.S., Upton Park, Chester. 
STONE, R., Jun., Newton Park, Newton-le- Willows. 
STRONGITHARM, G., 77, Whetstone Lane, Tranmere. 
SPARGO, E., Bangor, North Wales. 
SHERLOCK, C, 63, South John Street. 
•TATE, G., Ph.D., F.G.S., F.C.S., Liverpool College of Chemistry, 

96a, Duke Street. 
THOMAS, H., 21, Kinglake Street. 
TIMMINS, A., C.E., Mill House, Runcorn. 
WILSON, W. H., St. Michael's Hamlet, Aigburth. 

31, Wapping. 
WRIGHT, B. M., F.R. Hist. Soc, 204, Regent Street, London. 
•WARD, T., Northwich, Cheshire. 
YOUNG, H., 12, South Castle Street. 


MORGAN, Mrs., 3, Aughton Road, Birkdale. 
MORTON, Miss S. E., 4, Onslow Road, Elm Park. 
ROBERTS, Mbs., Kennessee, Maghull, Lancashire. 
READE, Mbs., Park Corner, Blundellsands. 

• Have read Papers before the Society, 
f Contribute annually to the Printing Fund. 

< ■» " r 



I'totpri fafotffl $m# 



JlDITED BY p. ji ^iOI^TON, f^fi 

(The Authors having revised their own Papers, are alone responsible 
for the facts and opinions expressed in them.) 




OFFICERS, 1888-84. 







Kanararo Treasurer. 


JSonararo librarian. 


f onorartj Secretary* 











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OCTOBER 9th, 1888. 

The President, DANIEL MACKINTOSH, F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 

The Officers and Council for the ensuing year were 
elected, and the Treasurer read his Annual Eeport, 
which had been audited by Dr. Herdman and Mr. 
T. Mellard Beade. 


The President then read his Annual Address : — 


NOVEMBER 18th, 1888. 

The President, T. MELLARD READE, C.E., F.G.S., 
in the Chair. 


The Bey. Frank Ballard, M.A., was elected an 


The following paper was read: — 


By G. H. Morton, P.G.S. 

DECEMBER 11th, 1883. 

The President, T. MELLARD READE, C.E., 
P.G.S., in the Chair. 

J. C. Parkinson and Osmund W. Jeffs were elected 

Ordinary Members. 


The following paper was read : — 


By D. Mackintosh, F.G.S. 

JANUARY 8th, 1884. 

The Pbesident, T. MELLARD READE, C.E., 
F.G.S., in the Chair. 

The following paper was read : — 



By T. Mellakd Reade, C.E., F.G.S. 


FEBRUARY 12th, 1884. 
The Rev. JOHN MANSELL in the Chair. 
The following papers were read :— 

By C. Riokbtts, M.D., F.G.S. 



By G. H. Mobton, F.G.S. 

MARCH 11th, 1884. 

The President, T. MELLARD READE, C.E., 
F.G.S., in the Chair. 

Mr. William Wise exhibited a section recently 
obtained while boring for water at Birkenhead. 

The following paper was read : — 



By Bey. Frank Ballard, M.A. 




B* D. Mackintosh, F.G.S. 

I. Introductory Remarks. — At the commencement I 
ought to state that a small part of the subject of this 
paper was discussed last February, at a meeting of the 
Geological Society of London, when some of the speakers 
appeared to lay too much stress on long periods of time. 
In case it should be suspected that I am biassed in favour 
of short periods of time, I may state that about forty 
years ago I wrote a book, the main object of which was 
to shew that a geological theory (cceteris paribus) is 
probable in proportion to the length of time it involves. 
This work was recommended for publication by one of 
the most eminent geologists then living to one of the 
most eminent publishers, who (for reasons which it is 
unnecessary to state) did not see his way clear to 
undertake its publication. 

II. Brief Statement of the order of Glacial Events. — 
Those British and American geologists who have made 
the most extensive observations, are now very nearly 
agreed in believing that there was— first, a period of 
land-ice which filled up the valleys, and covered many 
of the mountains; second, a submergence of the land 
which commenced before the close of the land-ice period, 


continued during a comparatively mild period, and did 
not terminate until after the commencement of a second 
period of land-ice. 

III. Condensed Statement of Professor James Geikie's 
Discoveries and Opinions. — Striated rock-surfaces are 
found on certain parts of the sea coast of Scotland, 
where they lie lower than the latest post-glacial " raised 
beaches " which more or less cover the glaciated rocks. 
Below the level of the raised beaches the sea (when the 
beaches were deposited) covered and protected the 
glaciated rocks. The sea was then 20 to 30 feet higher 
than now. Around the sea-lochs of the western High- 
lands and Sutherland, and likewise on the east coast, 
glaciers came down to the sea-level (when it was -20 to 
30 feet higher than now) in Neolithic times. The epoch 
of the latest glaciers in Scotland was separated from the 
last great glacial period by the oldest submarine forests, 
and the buried trees at the bottom of peat bogs. Then 
the land went partially down, and the latest (now) raised 
beach was deposited. Glaciers again appeared in the 
mountain valleys and came down to the sea-level. 
Neolithic man was then living, since we find his canoes 
lying at the bottom of the Carse-clays, associated with 
the trees of the submarine forests. To this statement 
of Professor James Geikie's discoveries, I may add that 
Mr. Kinahan has found traces of the continuance- of 
local glaciers in Ireland so late as the time when the 
300 feet and 100 feet raised beaches were formed. 

IV. Time indicated by the fresh appearance of Roches 
Moutonnies and glaciated Rock-surfaces. — In the north and 
west*central parts of Wales the smooth curvilinearity 
of many roches moutonnees has been preserved to a 
remarkable extent, notwithstanding their 'exposure to 
atmospheric action. In the Pass of Nant Francon, 


towards the lower end, and nearly opposite to the slate 
quarries, there are many well-defined, but little noticed 
roches moutonnees, which (though in a moist district) have 
retained their smoothness to a striking extent. Between 
Cwm Groesor and Beddgellert there are numerous large 
roches moutonnees which retain more or less ot their 
polish ; and at a height of more than 1,800 feet above 
the sea, on the south side of Bwlch-cwm-Orthin, I found 
many smoothed rock-surfaces with well preserved striae. 
In many parts of Cumberland where there is little 
appearance of the glaciated rocks having ever been 
preserved by drift from atmospheric action, they are still 
so smooth that a person heedlessly walking over them 
might very soon experience an undesirable downfall; 
and this is even the case where the rocks are of a 
felspathic or porphyritic character, and thereby liable 
to become roughened by chemical as well as mechanical 
disintegration. Between Stickle Tarn and Easedale, a 
large roche moutonnee rises out of a peat bog, where 
there is no appearance of its ever having been protected 
by drift from atmospheric action, and yet I could detect 
on its surface a few fine striae which had resisted the 
action of rain and frost since it became exposed to the 
weather, through the melting of the ice by which it had 
been formed. The extremely fresh appearance of many 
moraines may likewise be regarded as an evidence of 
the recent close of the glacial period. 

V. Time indicated by the Pedestals of Boulders. — On 
grass or heath-covered surfaces around Llangollen there 
are many boulders of Arenig or Aran felsite, on the 
leeward side of which there is a hollow excavated by 
wind-blown rain, while splashing down from the boulder. 
The average depth of such hollows is not more than 
about six inches. 


About two and a-half miles north of Llangollen, a 
ravine above Brook House leads up to a high limestone 
plateau on the left, called Craig-yr-ogof . On then going 
north towards a ravine called Nant-hen-Gastell, many 
boulders of Arenig felsite may be seen on grass, fern, 
or heath-covered surfaces, with a hollow on one or two 
sides caused by the down splashing of concentrated 
rain-water from the boulders. After crossing this ravine, 
and turning to the left as far as the brink of the inner- 
most well-defined cliff-line, a monstrous-looking boulder, 
of nearly black felsite, about 8 by 7 by 5 feet in diameter, 
may be seen in a perched position, close to the brink. 
It has a rather irregular fragmentary pedestal of lime- 
stone, from eight to nine inches in average height above 
the surrounding ground ; but it is possible it may have 
found this pedestal ready-made, so that it can admit of 
no reliable calculations concerning the time required for 
the circumjacent denudation of the limestone rock. 
Farther north, a small boulder may be seen resting 
partly on limestone, with a surface around the boulder 
which has been lowered only about two inches by rain, 
since the boulder came into its present position. On 
the neighbouring limestone outcrops, other boulders may 
be seen, around which the action of rain has lowered 
the general surface to the extent of only a few inches. 
From a comparison of facts, and after rejecting boulders 
which may have found ready-made pedestals, I have 
been led to the conclusion, that if we include hollows 
(chiefly on the leeward, but likewise on the windward 
side of boulders, and to a small extent all round the 
boulders), the average vertical extent of circumjacent 
denudation since the boulders were left by melting ice, 
has not been more than about six inches, and that this 
extent does not necessarily indicate a period of more 


than a few thousand years (see sequel). Before leaving 
this plateau, it may be well to state that many of the 
boulders show signs of having fallen from a great height 
(probably from floating ice), for the boulders have not 
only been fractured, but the limestone rocks on which 
they fell have been rent and shattered to a very striking 
extent. It ought not to be forgotten that many of the 
boulders would appear to have fallen on bare limestone 
rock, as there are no traces of drift or Boulder-clay 
around or under them, so that the circumjacent denuda- 
tion of the limestone may have commenced immediately 
after the fall of the boulders. The absence of Boulder- 
clay may be readily explained by the inability of sub- 
marine currents to transport it in an easterly direction 
across. deep valleys and steep ridges, and finally up the 
steep and (in many places) over-hanging face of the 
Eglwyseg Cliffs.* 

VI. Boulders on Limestone Rock-surfaces near Clap- 
ham, Yorkshire. — After walking about a mile and a-half 
along Thwaite Lane, east of Clapham, and crossing one 
or more walls in a northerly direction, one arrives at 
the base of a steep limestone escarpment. On rounding 
the east end of this escarpment and walking up a stone* 
covered slope on the* left, the lower part of the great 
limestone plateau, marked Norber on the Ordnance 
maps, suddenly comes into sight. It cannot fail to be 
noticed that the surfaces of the limestone rocks are 
often flat, and terminate in miniature cliffs with steep 

* Near the centre of Halkin Mountain (Flintshire), and close to 
a place called Trama Cottage, there are numerous large boulders on 
limestone rocks, but their bases are too much concealed by creeping 
vegetation to admit of reliable observations being made to determine 
the height of the supports of the boulders above the surrounding rock- 


brinks, as if whole blocks or fragments of rock ljad been 
removed by land-ice, floating ice, or according to Pro- 
fessor Phillips, by powerful currents. Partly resting on 
fragmentary rocks, and partly on flat and extensive 
rock-surfaces of a light grey colour, there is what may 
appropriately be called a grim array of many hundreds 
of huge and black Silurian grit and slate boulders, 
which are apt to suggest the idea that they are about to 
spring into life ! I think it must be obvious to any 
one who has made the pedestals of boulders a special 
study, that many, if not most of these boulders, have 
found resting places on pre-existing fragmentary pro- 
jections of limestone rock, after the manner of the 
perched blocks, which may be seen in all countries which 
have undergone extensive glaciation, and I have little 
doubt that had Mr. Tiddeman's attention* been par- 
ticularly directed to the subject, he would have agreed 
with me that the formation of the pedestals must have 
partly, if not chiefly, taken place before the boulders 
were left on them by the melting of the ice which trans- 
ported them. But Mr. Tiddeman's object was the more 
important one of discovering glacial striae on the 
pedestals under the boulders, where they had been 
protected by the boulders from the action of rain. 

VII, Evidences of the pre-existence of many of the 
Pedestals. — That many of the pedestals must have 
existed before the arrival of the boulders would appear 
from the following facts: — 1. Many of the boulders 
have no pedestals, and many have pedestals which do 
not fit the boulders ; in other words, a pedestal may- 
look narrower than a boulder when viewed endwise, but- 
wider than a boulder when viewed sidewise ; many 

* See Quarterly Journal Geological Society, Vol. zzviii. 


boulders resting on flat surfaces may be seen projecting 
over miniature cliffs, and many have two or more 
pedestals with vacant spaces between them, which could 
not have been excavated after the arrival of the 
boulders, because the latter would have protected the 
underlying rock-surfaces from the action of rain. In 
the case of the Norber Boulders, which rest on divided 
pedestals with one or more vacant spaces under which 
preserved glacial striae may be seen on looking in from 
without, it is clear that the vacant spaces could not 
have been excavated by lateral pluvial action after the 
arrival of the boulders, because the pluvial or any other 
kind of aqueous action would have obliterated the 

VIII. Pedestah formed since the arrival of the 
Boulders. — These pedestals vary from almost nothing 
to about seven inches in height. Those of them which, 
from their shape, would appear to have been left by the 
splashing down of rain-water from the boulders, may 
average about six inches in height, or nearly the same 
as the pedestals on the Eglwyseg plateau near Llangollen. 
I do not remember having seen Boulder-clay on the 
surface of the flat limestone rocks of the Norber plateau, 
though the spaces between many of the blocks in situ 
are often partly filled with a kind of grass -covered earth, 
which may have resulted from the accumulation of the 
insoluble part of the limestone. On the supposition 
that the boulders were transported by a great sheet of 
land ice (as Mr. Tiddeman believes), little or no Boulder- 
clay would be allowed to gather, according to Professor 
Geikie (" Pre-historic Europe," p. 289). Had the sea, 
with boulder-laden floating ice, swept over the high rocky 
plateau, there would have been still less likelihood of 
JJouldey-clay being deposited, 


IX. Pedestals of Boulders in Ireland. — My attention 
has lately been directed to a work entitled "Fissures, 
Fractures, and Faults/' by Mr. Kinahan (of the Irish 
Geological Survey), in which he states that on the Arran 
Islands, where the rain-fall is great, the limestone has 
weathered away from four to six inches since the glacial 
period, as proved by the unweathered pedestals of lime- 
stone under the erratic blocks; while inland similar 
pedestals are seldom three inches in height. 

X. Bearing of the above Facts on the Time which has 
elapsed since the Close of the Glacial Period. — After 
making a series of calculations based on the results of 
observations made in the two districts described in this 
paper, I was led to the conclusion (as already hinted) 
that the average depth of the hollows which have been 
excavated around boulders by the pluvio-torrential or 
mechanical action of rain-water (assisted by its chemical 
action under favourable conditions) is not more than 
about six inches. With regard to the rate of denudation, 
the extension of many flat rock-surfaces under boulders 
(especially on Norber plateau) shews that it must be 
exceedingly slow. But if we allow a thousand years for 
the excavation of only an inch in depth of the hollows 
around the boulders, this would give us not more than 
6,000 years as the time which has elapsed since the 
boulders were left in their present positions through 
the melting of the ice by which they were transported. 
These calculations are only vaguely appproximate, but I 
think they are sufficient to shew that many geologists 
have shown a tendency to exaggerate the time which has 
elapsed since the close of the glacial period. 

XI. Perennial Snow or Ice on High Plateaux during 
Neolithic times. — Professor Geikie, as already stated, is 
of opinion that the second great glacial period was 


divided into two by a mild interval. But though this 
may have been the- case in Scotland, or farther north, it 
may not have been so (at least to the same extent) in 
England and Wales; and I think we are therefore at 
liberty to believe that on the high plateaux in the north 
of Wales and England, which form the main subject of 
this paper, ice, or ice alternating with snow, may have 
been perennial, though it may have been different in the 
lowlands and farther south. If so, ice or snow on the 
Eglwyseg and Norber plateaux, which rise to between 
1,000 and 1,800 feet above the sea-level, may have 
lingered until about 6,000 years ago, so as to protect the 
supports of boulders from the action of rain. 

XII. Close of the Glacial Period in North America. — 
It is well known that many American geologists (includ- 
ing several who have been honoured by the Council of 
the Geological Society of London) are convinced that the 
glacial period in the Niagara and Michigan district, 
terminated as late as about 6,000 years ago. From 
recent reports it would appear that the Niagara Falls 
have lately been receding at the rate of about 10 feet in 
24 years, or about 2 J feet in a year ; and tjjis accords 
with the results of observations made by the late Mr. 
Belt and Mr. James Hall, who found that the falls had 
receded in solid rock about three miles since the Niagara 
channel had been partly filled up with glacial drift. 
Dr. Andrews has made a series of very precise observa- 
tions on the raised beaches of Lake Michigan, which 
shew that the surrounding country rose out of the glacial 
sea between 5,500 and 7,500 years ago. Many rivers 
besides Niagara have made new channels in the glacial 
drift by which their old channels were choked up. 

XIII. Astronomical Proojs of the Recent Close of the 
Glacial Period. — According to Lieiit.-Colonel Drayson, ij\ 


the Quart. Jouru. Geol. Soc. for 1871, it would appear 
that 13,000 years before Christ the Arctic circle came 
down to latitude 54° 85' N., or to about the latitude of 
St. Bees and Whitby. The climate commencing about 
21,000 years ago would become more and more extreme 
up to about 15,000 years ago, and then gradually more 
and more equable to about 6,000 years ago. 

XIV. Historical Objection to the Recent Close of the 
Glacial Period. — Some notice ought to be taken of an 
objection to the recent termination of the glacial period 
made by Professor Bonney, on the ground that if it 
came to a close so late as 6,000 years ago, the climate 
would have continued down to 8,000 years ago suffi- 
ciently cold to excite the notice of historians. But, 
according to Colonel Drayson's calculations, the climate 
would have lost its. extreme character much earlier than 
8,000 years ago. It may, likewise, be remarked, that 
glacial conditions in Britain never extended farther 
south than the Bristol Channel and Thames Estuary, 
so that in countries farther south the climate, 8,000 
years ago, may not have been sufficiently extreme to 
invest it with historical interest. 

XV. Bearing of the Subject on Sacred History. — 
Were a period of more than 6,000 years to be assigned 
as the time which has elapsed since the glacial period, 
there would be nothing inconsistent with the statements 
contained in the first chapter of Genesis, as the words, 
" In the beginning " imply no particular date. It does 
not seem to be generally known that the marginal 


figures 4004 B.C. were placed against the first verse of 
Genesis by Bishop Lloyd, of Worcester, so late as the 
year 1701 ; and that in Dr. Hales' new Analysis of 
Chronology, as many as one hundred and twenty different 
opinions are given concerning the date of the creation. 


Such being the case, it would appear that geologists are 
at perfect liberty to pursue the study of their science 
without any fear of coming into collision with sacred 

There would appear to .be no evidence from which 
the date of the glacial submergence can be even 
approximately ascertained, especially as it was followed 
by a period of land-ice ; but there is a remarkable loamy 
deposit called Loess, which is generally without sea- 
shells, and which, in (Jhina, with a thickness of 1,000 
feet, ascends to an elevation of not less than 8,000 feet. 
Mr. Howorth, of Eccles, Lancashire, who has devoted 
much attention to this deposit, believes that it was 
accumulated by a great post-glacial fresh-water flood. 
On many points I fully agree with him, but the subject 
requires to be more fully investigated. 



By G. H. Morton, F.G.S. 

During the last eight years a very important section of 
the Triassic Strata has been exposed in Liverpool, by 
excavations for widening the line of the London and 
North- Western Railway Co. The section presents a 
solid wall of sandstone on both sides of the new Railway 
cutting from Lime-street Station to Edge Hill Station, a 
distance of 2,300 yards from east to west. The height 
of the rock on each side varies, but is usually from 50 
to 80 feet above the railway. The section is represented 
by this diagram, which is on the horizontal scale of 40 



feet to the inch, and on the vertical scale of 10 feet to 
the inch. The base line of the section is the level of 
Lime-street, while the middle line represents the railway 
gradually ascending to the east. I am indebted to Mr. 
Henry A. Dibbin, C.E., the Engineer of the Company, 
and to Messrs. Nichols and Keyte, for affording me 
every facility for examining the strata, which I have 
constantly done during the period the work has been in 
progress. * 

Before describing the strata exposed in the section, it 
is advisable to briefly refer to the Geological formations 
that occur in the country around Liverpool. A large 
portion of the City is situated on the Keuper, and the 
remainder on the Bunter formation ; or according to an 
older nomenclature, it is on the New Bed Sandstone. 
The subdivisions of these formations were first repre- 
sented on the Geological Survey Map of the district by 
Prof. Edward Hull, F.G.S., in 1854, and they were after- 
wards described by myself in 1856. These subdivisions 
are the 

Keuper f *<* MarL 

I Keuper Sandstone. 

Upper Mottled Sandstone. 
Bunter ■ Pebble-beds. 

k Lower Mottled Sandstone. 

During the last twenty years all these subdivisions 
have been found to be much thicker than formerly 
supposed, while several recent shafts and borings 
tend to prove that the Lower Mottled Sandstone is 
a series of sandstones and marls which may be of 
Permian age. This subdivision, however, does not 
occur near the section under description, except at a 
great depth. 



The Red Marl consists of red and grey shale with 
interstratified seams of clay of the same colour. On the 
east of St. James' Cemetery it is 100 feet thick, but in 
Wirral it was proved to be 820 feet when boring through 

it in search of coal in 1861. 



The Keuper Sandstone consists of white, yellow, and 
red sandstone, with bands of red and grey shale and 
clay ; the sandstone at the base being a conglomerate or 
breccia. Under Liverpool the Keuper Sandstone is 400 
feet, but at Storeton, in Cheshire, it is only 208 feet 
thick, for the upper beds have been denuded. 


The Upper Mottled Sandstone consists of soft red, or 
yellow sandstone with grey streaks, seldom, if ever, 
fit for building purposes, and probably graduates down- 
wards into the Pebble-beds beneath. It was formerly 
considered to be 400 feet in thickness, but in a boring 
for water at Flaybrick Hill it seemed to be 550 feet. 


The Pebble-beds form the thickest and most important 
subdivision about Liverpool, being extensively used as a 
building stone. The upper beds, about 400 feet thick, 
are of reddish-brown sandstone, with very few, if any, 
pebbles. The lower beds, about 600 feet thick, are of 
sandstone of the same reddish-brown colour, but contain 
numerous quartz and quartzite pebbles, and separated by 
frequent bands of red and grey shale. The thickness of 
the whole of the Pebble-beds proved in the Bootle bore- 
hole, when sinking for water, was about 1,000 feet, but 
probably the subdivision becomes thinner to the eastward. 




On the Geological Survey Map, Sheet 79, N.E., the 
ground crossed by the line of section is represented as 
Pebble-beds on the east and Eeuper Sandstone on the 
west, with a fault between, along the line of Bedford- 
street. When the soft sandstone, which occupies an inter- 
mediate position, was first noticed in 1862,1 was of opinion 
that the base of the Pebble-beds occurred at the bottom 
of Edge Hill, and that the Lotcer Mottled Sandstone 
cropped out from underneath. The section, however, 
shows that this soft sandstone belongs to the Upper 
Mottled Sandstone, which has been thrown down to the 
west by a fault, and that there are many other faults 
running north and south, all tending to bring in higher 
strata in the same direction. It also shows the exact 
position of the fault between the Bunter and Keuper 
formations, which was not known before. 

If the section had been drawn on the same scale, 
horizontally and vertically, it would have been four 
times as long as it is, but having been so much con- 
tracted, it has been necessary to represent the dip of 
the strata as much greater than it really is, and the 
hade of the faults is reduced for the same reason. The 
actual dip of the Pebble-beds in the Railway cutting is 
4° east, the Upper Mottled Sandstone 7°, and the Keuper 
Sandstone 15°, dips exaggerated on the diagramatic 
section, so as to cause the beds of shale to appear in 
their proper positions with regard to outcrop and faults. 

The Pebble-beds crop out for 914 yards along the east 
of the cutting, and are represented by a solid wall of hard, 
fine grained reddish brown sandstone, with thin bands of 
a grey colour. There are no shale-partings, and not a 
single pebble of any kind has been noticed, The sancl- 


stone is an excellent building stone, and very large 
blocks are obtained, as there are very few joints. Only 
two faults occur along the great length of the Pebble- 
beds exposed, and they are of very little importance. 

One of these faults is under Edgeware-street, 25 feet 
east of the bridge, with a downthrow of 8 feet to the 
west, and the other under Goulden-street, with a similar 
downthrow of 4 feet 6 inches. The thickness of the 
sandstone exposed is about 250 feet. It belongs to the 
top of the Pebble-beds, and is succeeded by the Upper 
Mottled Sandstone, a very short distance beyond the 
east end of the cutting where covered with the Boulder 
clay. The Pebble-beds end towards the west with a 
fault under that side of Smithdown Lane, being a down- 
throw of about 150 feet to the west, bringing in the 
overlying subdivision. 

Upper Mottled Sandstone. — The Upper Mottled 
Sandstone is a fine grained, soft and bright red sand- 
stone, with grey streaks. It readily crumbles into sand, 
and is never hard enough for building purposes. A 
little further west> close to Vine-street, the lowest visible 
(10 feet) of sandstone is harder, more like that of the 
Pebble-beds, so that it is probable that the base of the 
Upper Mottled Sandstone is exposed there; but under 
the west side of the street there is a fault which throws 
down the sandstone in the same direction, probably 
about 100 feet, for nothing is seen again of the under- 
lying Pebble-beds. The Upper Mottled Sandstone then 
continues cropping out to the west without any change 
in lithological character. There is a fault on the west 
side of Jasper-street and another 22 yards west of 
Peach-street, but they are evidently very small down- 
throws to the west. On the east side of Mount Pleasant 
there is another small fault, which throws the sandstone 


up on the west, bat only to the extent of 6 feet, and of 
no importance. A little further the great fault which 
brings in the Keuper Sandstone occurs, with a down- 
throw of about 600 feet to the west. It was well exposed 
a few months ago, and is still visible in a short tunnel 
under Mount Pleasant and Brownlow Hill, and it runs 
under University College, which is situated partly on the 
Upper Mottled Sandstone and partly on the Keuper 

Keuper Sandstone. — The highest strata of the Keuper 
Sandstone occur on the west of the boundary fault, and 
the position of the Bed Marl, had it occurred, would 
have been just over the yellow sandstone at the top of 
Brownlow Hill. About 500 yards to the south of the 
line of section the same yellow sandstone occurs in St. 
James* Cemetery, with 100 feet of the Bed Marl over it, 
both subdivisions being exposed for some distance. On 
the south-west of University College, a large quarry was 
discovered filled with debris, and it is shown on an old 
Map of Liverpool by Charles Eyes, dated 1785, as 
" Brook and Seacomb's Quarry." The upper part of the 
sandstone is yellow, but lower down it changes into 
red. Below about 150 feet of the yellow and red sand- 
stone, several thin beds of shale crop up and end 
against a fault on the west of Great Newton-street, which 
throws down the strata about 30 feet, and several beds 
of shale then rise to the surface. These beds are subject 
to rapid changes in thickness and lithological character, 
and often alter considerably, or thin away altogether 
within the space of 50 yards. The thickness of those 
under Gill-street varies from 3 inches to 6 feet, and are 
usually of a deep red colour, though sometimes yellow 
or grey. They are associated with a conglomerate, 20 
feet thick> which contains numerous nodules, or rounded 


masses of clay and a few quartz pebbles, and resembles 
the base of the Eeuper. Another fault occurs between 
St. Andrew-street and Trowbridge-street, and throws 
down the strata again to the west about 80 feet, bringing 
in two of the upper beds of shale, which rise to the 
surface at Jervis-street and on the east of Bussell-street. 
Under the yards, at the back of the houses, on the west 
of Bussell-street, there is another fault with a down- 
throw of about 50 feet to the west, and the beds of shale 
are brought in again. The lowest bed is 3 feet thick 
under St. Vincent-street, but thins away downwards to a 
few inches at the bottom of the cutting about 100 feet 

The sandstone forming the base of the Eeuper is 75 
feet in thickness, and crops out from under the lowest 
bed of shale in Lime-street Station. It is a hard light 
yellow sandstone, with a few distant partings of shale 
from 1 to 3 inches thick. It contains numerous nodules 
of clay A but no quartz pebbles have been found, though 
they are frequent in the basement beds in several places 
on the opposite side of the Mersey. 

Under the base of the Eeuper a soft yellow sandstone 
crops out, and it is probably the top of the Upper 
Mottled Sandstone, but only 30 feet are exposed, for a 
few yards to the west there is another fault, which brings 
down some of the beds of shale again, so that there must 
be a downthrow of at least 90 feet. Beyond the western 
end of the section the shale beds crop out between 
St. George's Hall and the Free Public Library and 
Museum, while still further west the Upper, Mottled 
Sandstpne comes in, probably faulted and thrown up 
against the Eeuper Sandstone, the whole of the latter 
being in a great trough fault. 

The position of the Eeuper, as * wedge-shaped mass 


of sandstone, with the Bunter formation faulted against 
it on the east and west, is of great local interest, and it 
is easy to understand how the outcrop of the subdivisions 
under the city has not been satisfactorily explained 
before, in the absence of such a continuous section as 
that described. 

The remarkable absence of faults in the Pebble beds 
has an important bearing on the construction of the 
Mersey tunnel, which will have to be carried through 
those beds along its entire length. The section shows 
that while faults are numerous in the Eeuper Sandstone, 
which was frequently fractured during subsidence into a 
depression, the Pebble-beds are very little faulted. A 
few days ago, when under the Mersey, I did not find 
a single fault, either in the tunnel or in the heading 
beneath, neither did I find a single pebble in the sand- 
stone, which proves the strata to belong to the upper 
part of the Pebble-beds. There were a few thin bands 
of shale, with the exception of a single bed about a foot 
in thickness. Most of the rock in the tunnel was 
covered with brickwork, but in the level beneath it was 
left exposed. 




By T. Mbllard Reade, C.E., F.G.S., F.R.LB.A. 

In 1874 a Committee of the British Association was 
appointed "for investigating the circulation of the 
underground waters in the New Red Sandstone and 
Permian Formations of England." This Committee 
has since issued annual reports containing a great deal 
of valuable, but undigested information, relating to the 
well sinking and borings in various places. 



In 1877, being then on the Committee, I submitted a 
report to them, with sections, on the South Lancashire 
Wells, which is published in an Appendix to the General 
Report. It was an attempt to deal with the facts in a 
scientific way, so as to educe some principles which 
might serve to explain the mode in which water circu- 
lated through the New Bed Sandstone rocks. 

During the present year, while instituting some 
experiments on sandstones, my attention was accidentally 
recalled to the consideration of the circulation of water 
in sandstones. What I am about to describe to you are 
nothing more than laboratory experiments ; but I ven- 
ture to hope that they may be found of some service 
practically, as assisting to interpret what takes place in 
Nature on a larger scale. 

The capacity of sandstones for absorbing water has 
been the subject of many experiments. Notably, in our 
own Society, Mr. Isaac Roberts, F.G.S., made such an 
investigation, which is described in our Proceedings for 
\ 1868-9; and a very full table by Mr. E. Wethered, 
\ F.G.S., on the Porosity and Density of Bocks, from 
, . i experiments of his own, is in the British) Association 
I ) \Beport of 1882.* 

My own experiments, which, though also deajing with 
the capacity of the New Bed Sandstone for absorbing 
and retaining water, relate in their more original aspect 
to the mode in which capillarity manifests itself, and 
the way in which the water circulates in the stone. 

These experiments were made with dressed bars of 
Bed Sandstone from the quarries for building-stone 
at Buncorn and at Eyerton ; they were prepared for me 

' ■ WO > ' • ■ ' 

* These densities appear to me to be excessive, the particles of 
Millstone Grit being given as 3*01 in one case, and in another the 
Inferior Oolite at 3*8, pp. 236-7, 




by Mr. Hugh Yates, to whom I must express my thanks. 
Superficially there is little to distinguish these stones 
from each other, though the former is in the Keuper, 
and the latter in the Pebble-beds of the Bunter. They 
are often used indiscriminately in the same building* - 

My first experiment was with Bar No. 8, Buncorn 
Stone, which I half-immersed in a can of water, end on. 
The measurement taken with very fine callipers was 
14-92 by 1-92 by 1*92 inches = 58*88 cubic inches. 
The water rose by capillarity 5 inches the first hour, 
1 inch more the next 25 minutes, | inch the next 25 
minutes, and finally appeared at the top, in the centre of 
the bar, in a total of 2 J hours — see Fig. 1. Leaving it 
Fig. i. * n another J of an hour — 8 hours in all 

— I weighed it, and found it had gained 
4 oz. of water. I then placed it back 
in the water the other end up, and after 
leaving it soaking for some time, 
The shaded part weighed it again, and found it was 

represents the wet ,, ., . , , , - T 

part of the stone. exactly the same weight as before. I 

then totally immersed it in the bath and 
left it to soak. It still weighed the same. This showed 
that its capacity for water had been fully satisfied by 

capillarity alone. 
1 oz. of water at 62° Fahr. measures 1*78 cubic inches. 

4 oz. x 173 = 6'92. 
58-38 — 6-92 = 46*46. 
Therefore, 53*38 cubic inches of Buncorn Stone con- 
tains 46*46 cubic inches of solid material, and 6*92 cubic 
inches of interstitial space between the grains which 
can be filled with water by capillary attraction. 

The weight of the stone dry was 64*7 ounces — 


— — = 0*718. One.ounce of solid material 


= 0*718 cubic inch, and the specific gravity was there- 


fore 2*4. Thus it is highly probable that there are 
some interstitial spaces in which the water does not 
displace the air, as I find the specific gravity of the 
siliceous sand of our sandhills to be 2*62. 

The quantity of water absorbed was equal to 8'24 
quarts per cubic foot of sandstone. 

I have given this experiment in detail to show my 
method of working. 

Experiment No. 2. — This was with a bar of Everton 

stone 14*88 by 1'88 by 1'88= 52*58 cubic inches, weight 
dry, 4 lbs. 

I immersed it 8 \ inches, end on, in water. The first 
hour, the water rose one inch ; in three hours, If inches; 
in 13£ hours it had only risen a total height of 4£ 
inches. In 28J hours the damp appeared, as before, as 
a spot in the middle of the top of the stone. The 
water rose in the stone, as in the previous experiment, 
like the mercury in a rising barometer, convex at the top. 
The surafce of the rising water would really be repre- 
sented by a dome cut to fit a square plan. I left the 
stone standing in the water another 8£ hours, and then 
weighed it. It had taken up 8£ ounces of water. I 
put it back in the water the other end up, and weighed 
it again in another 24 hours. It had gained in all 
3 J ounces of water. I then totally immersed it in water, 
and let it soak, but it gained no more water. 

Calculating as before — the water absorbed is equal 
to 3*08 quarts per cubic foot, and the specific gravity 
of the stony material 2*4, as in the former case. 

Drying. — The experiments not being simultaneously 
made, I can , institute no exact comparison between the 
stones in their relative times of drying, as they no doubt 
were subject to some varying conditions of temperature 
and dryness of the air. No. 1, exposed all round to the 


air at an average temperature of about 62°, lost two 
ounces of water in 24 hours. In 48 hours in all, it still 
retained three-quarters of an ounce of water, but had 
regained its natural colour. In 96 hours it still held a 
quarter-ounce, and in 100 hours it was practically dry. No. 
2, after 48 hours exposure, held half-an-ounce of water. 
So that although No. 2 took up the water so much more 
slowly, it parted with it at the same rate, roughly speaking. 
Stone Syphon. — It next occurred to me that it would 
be possible to syphon out the water from one vessel to 
another at a lower level, by means of, or through solid 
stone. I therefore had a stone (Buncorn) made in the 
form of a plumber's bend. It was 8 inches by 3 inches in 
section, 15 inches long from the top of the bend to the 
termination of the longer leg and 6 inches to that of the 
shorter. The stone was wet when I first got it, having 
only just been worked. In that state I fixed it with the 
short leg in a vessel of water and the long one in a dry 
dish. The head of water was 8£ inches. The water 
gradually accumulated at the termination of the long 
leg and stood on the surface in small beads. In one 
hour the first drop of water detached itself from the 
the stone. On measuring the water after the expiration 
of 21 hours 58 minutes, I found it had run out 29*45 
cubic inches of water, or at the rate of 1*86 cubic inches 
per hour, the difference of level of the water in the top 
and bottom vessels being 7 J inches. On another occa- 
sion it ran at the rate of 1*57 cubic inches per hour; on 
another, 11 hours at the rate of 1*44 cubic inches per 
hour. The water delivered was in all cases accurately 
measured with a rain-gauge measurer. The difference 
of speed in the circulation of the water probably was to 
some extent affected by the varying head, but the expe- 
riments did not make this quite clear. 


I then left the syphon to dry in the air, as I was 
curious to find out in what way the water circulated 
through it. When quite dry, I repeated the experiment. 
The water rises in the stone and progresses through it 
with a such a defined line that it is quite easy to see 
what is going on. In five minutes the water rose two 
inches on one side to the crown of the inner bend; on 
the other it did not rise so quickly, due, no doubt, to the 
bedding of the stone being more pronounced on one 
side than the other. I have marked at intervals, 
in the accompanying diagram, Fig. 2, the course 
of the ' water through the stone and the edge of the 
water as it turns the bend shews some very pretty 

Fig. 2. 

Diagram of Stone Syphon, shewing progressive 

absorption of water. 




















For the last eight inches I took the time at each inch 
of progression, and found it averaged 18 minutes per 


inch. The la6t four inches were very regular in 
the times, as will be seen on reference to the diagram. 
In 4 hours and 7 minutes it became fully saturated. 
It took up the water for the last four inches at the 
rate of 4*47 cubic inches per hour. In an experi- 
ment extending over 12 hours the syphon ran out 17*86 
oubic inches, or 1*49 cubic inches per hour. Thus the 
syphon parts with its water at one-third the rate it 
progresses through the stone during the time the last 
four inches are being saturated. On weighing, the 
syphon was found to contain 14 ounces of water, or 
24*22 cubic inches. 

My next experiment was with the Runcorn Stone 
No. 8, already described, measuring 14*92 by 1*92 by 
1-92, and another Runcorn Stone, 15*03 by 5*5 by 5*5 
inches; the total cubic capacity being 508 inches. 
These two stones were placed end on in a measured 
quantity of water. When saturated, I found they had 
taken up, together with water lost in evaporation, 71*86 
cubic inches, or 1*08 quarts. If we allow 8 oz. as lost in 
evaporation, the proportion of water the two stones hold 
is almost exactly the same as No. 8 alone. As one 
experiment was by weight and the other by direct 
measurement, this is a very satisfactory proof of 

I found, however, that the larger stone, although its 
bedding was horizontal in the experiment, absorbed the 
water proportionately more rapidly than the smaller. 
When the water was 12| inches high in the large stone, it 
was only 10 J in the smaller. The water, as before, made 
its appearance in the centre of the top of the stones 
first. Drying them in the air, standing on end, the water 
retreats in the stone exactly in the same way that it 


Experiments with Sand. — I now thought I should like 
to see how loose sand acts under similar circumstances. 
I therefore filled a glass tube, f inch diameter, with 
dry sand from the sandhills, through a funnel, while 
standing it vertically in sand at the bottom of a tumbler. 

1 then poured water into the tumbler — the water rises 
up the first inch of the tube with astonishing rapidity, 
gradually decreasing in speed. Though I left it more 
than a week, the water only rose 8J inches and there 
remained. In filling it again with dry sand as before, 
and tapping the tube, the water rose the same evening 
above S£ inches. I then filled a tube, If inches 
diameter, with similar dry sand, shaking it well down. 
The water in this case rose 7£ inches in the tube, at 
which level it remained. A careful experiment made 
with a gauge glass showed that 9 oz. of sand absorbed 

2 J oz. of water. The 9 oz. of sand measured 9 a 81 cubic 
inches, and the 2£ oz. of water 8*89 cubic inches. 
Therefore, 9*81 — 8'89 = 5'92 cubic inches of solid sand 
matter. The specific gravity of the sand being thus 2*62. 

I have elsewhere stated in round figures,* that 12 
cubic feet of this sand will absorb five cubic feet of 
water. This more accurate measurement makes the 
water absorbed *V less; but 5 of water to 12 of sand is 
near enough for practical purposes. 

I made other experiments, but it would be mere 
weariness to detail them here. So let us see if we can 
extract anything of practical moment from those already 

As regards Wells and Water Supply. — My experiments 
do not shew the vertical height that water will rise to 
in the stone by capillarity. One of the bars of Runcorn 

* Geological Magazine, January, 1884. — u Miniature Domes in Sand," 


stone, 15 inches long, standing in half-an-inch of water, 
became saturated to the top in 24 hours. A similar 
bar of Everton stone absorbed water up to 8J inches in 
the same time, and in five days it had risen to 12£ 
inches. It is, however, pretty evident that when this 
limit of capillarity has been reached, the addition of 
any water to the height of the column would make it 
run through the stone. Thus we can understand that 
rainfall, soaking into the ground as moisture only, 
may, when the point of saturation of the underlying 
rock has been reached, create a circulation of water in 
the rock. Before my experiments were made, this point 
in the theory of the circulation of underground water 
was anything but clear to me. This view of the matter J j 
also enables us to understand how the rock may be 
supplied with water, even under the very general mantle 
of Low-level Boulder-clay which covers the valley of the 
Mersey.* It will absorb moisture from anything merely 
damp, and the water collecting in a vertical column or 
accumulating vertically in the rock, is ready to flow 
when tapped at a low level. Nature provides cracks 
and fissures which ramify through the sandstone rock ; 
and through these fissures and the planes of bedding, or 
at the junction of intercalated beds of marl, the water 
flows by gravitation to the nearest river channel. 

When a well is sunk, the conditions of drainage are 
altered. If kept pumped down, the lowest level to which 
the surrounding water can drain, is the locus of the 
well. A portion of this water therefore is intercepted 
and diverted from the natural channels. I have 

* Mr. Wm. Whitaker, F.G.S., in his able Presidential Address to 
the Norwich Geological Society (Geol. Mag., Jan. 1884, pp. 23-29) classes 
some of the Boulder-clays as impervious ; my own view is that all are, 
through capillarity, in different degrees, pervious. 


V 4 




elsewhere shewn* that a large extent of ramifying 
fissures in connection with a well are a necessity for its 
success. The area of the rock affected by the pumping 
is proportional to the extent of these fissures, for other- 
wise the well would not be able to draw its supplies 
from any great distance. 

The experiment with the syphon also clearly shews 
that a very great deal of water may be drawn laterally 
from rivers flowing over sandstone, and bringing 
water from other sources, which may serve to explain 
the prodigious quantity of water which can be and is, 
drawn artificially from the Bed Sandstone. In the 
upper part of these river valleys a great deal of drift has 
been removed, or there are gravels lying upon the rock, 
saturated with water. It also seems to explain a much 
debated point — the increase of chloride of sodium in 
some much pumped wells near the river Mersey ; for the 
pressure of the column of fresh water being relieved, 
the sea water may begin to interchange by endosmosis 
with the water in the rock. The experiments also 
explain why, by pumping down a well to a constantly 
low level, a larger supply of water is obtained, because 
the hydraulic head acts from a longer distance and a 
consequently larger area. Taking the water filtered 
through the stone of the syphon, which had an area of 9 
superficial inches, at only 1 cubic inch per hour (instead 
of 1*49, the rate at which it actually delivered), this would 
equal 2 cubic feet per yard, or 9,680 cubic feet of water 
per acre per 24 hours, or 6,195,200 cubic feet per mile. It 
is thus seen that with a good system of fissures in con- 
nection with a well what a vast quantity of water may be 

* British Association Report, 1677. — "On the South Lancashire 
Wells," pp. 66*72. 


drawn through the rocks. The theory that looks upon 
the Bed Sandstone as simply a storehouse of water that 
we are gradually exhausting, is on the face of it fallacious. 

It is well known, however, that these fissures are 
surface phenomena, which are reduced, and prohahly 
finally disappear with depth. Joints are by some con- 
sidered to be so too. The fissures are either fractures or 
enlarged joints. Movement of the rocks may have in 
the first place fissured them, and undoubtedly the circu- 
lation of the water that has been going through them 
for countless ages has enlarged them. This is not 
necessarily due to mechanical agencies alone; the 
chemical action of water will effect the same purpose. It 
is a well known fact that the water of wells in the New 
Bed Sandstone increases in hardness with their age, and 
that when a new bore is put down the new water is usually 
softer than the old water. Sandstone soaked in water 
becomes soft, and if a constant circulation is kept up, it 
naturally follows that the softened cement of the par- 
ticles becomes more easily dissolved and taken up by 
the water. The water also possesses more active 
chemical qualities for effecting this dissolution from its 
constant renewal from the surface. 

Our Secretary, Mr. Morton, F.G.S., has pointed out 
that the Keuper Sandstone in the railway cutting 
between Lime Street and Edge Hill is much more shaken 
and faulted than the Pebble -beds. It is highly probable 
that the lower we go down into the earth's crust the fewer 
the small faultings, though the main faults must pene- 
trate to a great depth ; but these, as a rule, are closed 
up. It is only when within the influence of atmospheric 
agencies that the fissures are formed. I was lately much 
struck, in examining the Fenmaenmawr Sett Quarries, 
to find the weathering of the rock to follow the joints to 



the bottom of the quarry ; and Mr. Charles Darbishire 
pointed out to me, at a great depth below the natural 
surface, a fissure or cave, into which a man could get. 
Particular bands of this rock also seem to have decayed 
to a great depth. This is, I believe, all the effect of atmos- 
pheric action by percolation of rain water. But for the 
rain water to circulate there must be some natural 
drainage to a lower level. Probably the cause of the 
failure of the deep Bootle well was because it penetrated 
homogenous sandstone possessing no ducts which could 
quickly convey the filterings of the rock to the site of the 

As Regards Building Stones. — In pursuit of my 
profession I have of course used much of the stone 
experimented upon. I long ago found out that when 
used as factables to a roof, copings to a parapet wall, 
or indeed anywhere where the rain could come vertically 
upon it, that it was impossible to keep out the damp. 
Point the joints and paint the stone as you will, the wet 
still comes through. I therefore adopted the plan of 
bedding stone in these situations on sheet lead. This 
was the only effectual cure. I also found it absolutely 
necessary to have no through-stones ; they infallibly 
conveyed the water through the wall to the plaster 
inside, and indicated their presence by square yards of 
damp. I therefore always arranged to have a brick- 
backing behind the stone-work. Wood beams or wood- 
work of any kind in contact with this stone-work 
infallibly rots. There are many appliances that profess 
to close the pores of the stone, but, hitherto, those I 
have used have not proved satisfactory. If each 
individual stone could be dipped in some solution, that 
would probably prove the most effectual cure. As it is, 
the solution is applied only on the face, when the work 


is set, leaving the wet to penetrate at the joints. It 
is, however, I think, a pretty generally established fact 
that weathering tends to close the pores of the stone, 
and put what is called a " hard skin upon it ; " but 
this takes time. Stone foundations will draw the 
moisture up from the earth and play havoc with a 
building. Brick, and almost any material will also do 
it, but to a lesser degree. The prevention is, however, 
simple and easy by building in what is called a damp- 
proof course, of pitch, or other non-absorbent material. 
The cure in an existing building is more difficult and 
expensive, for then the whole structure has to be 
" underpinned " to insert it. Old buildings, so far as 
my experience extends, never possess damp-proof courses. 

A Red Sandstone house may be a very handsome 
building, but then it may be holding tons of water in 
its pores ! A wall 60 feet by 30 feet and 2 feet thick 
is capable of holding some 6 tons of water, and silch a 
wall, if exposed to the north-west, in an open country, in 
our neighbourhood, in a rainy winter, would, no doubt, 
get saturated. This means expending more fuel to 
convert part of this water into vapour! The difficulty is 
surmounted to a great extent by building hollow walls, 
the inner wall being of brick. Woe unto the man who has 
not taken this precaution ! 

It would certainly appear, from the experiments 
detailed, that the compact stone of the Pebble-beds is the 
better building stone, though the Runcorn stone (Keuper) 
can be obtained in larger and more homogenous blocks. 
The Everton stone absorbed the water much more 
slowly, and parted with it as quickly. I have no doubt, 
also, that, other things being equal, it will last longer; 
though this quality seems to be getting day by day of 
less moment, the world moves so quickly, and one 


building is bo rapidly removed to make way for another. 
How different from the good old days, when families 
lived in the same house for generations ! Nevertheless, I 
have always been an advocate for good building, and prac- 
tised it, I hope, to the practical benefit of my clients. 

Other applications of the principles disclosed will, no 
doubt, occur to you. It is not often that I have con- 
nected geology with any utilitarian object in the papers 
I have had the honor to read before you. At the 
same time, its use has been present to my mind, and 
I think what I have shewn you to-night may to some 
extent answer those troublesome people who are always 
asking Cui bono ? 


By Charles Eicketts, M.D., F.G.S. 

I have received from Mr. James Coutts, of Glasgow, a 
rounded purple quartzite pebble obtained from the Old 
Eed Sandstone of Aberfoyle, Perthshire ; it was accom- 
panied with a request that I would, if in my power, 
assist in determining the cause of the remarkable inden- 
tations, of which seven appear on its surface, and of 
the fractures associated with them. The specimen is 
similar in character, and from the same locality, as 
some described by Professor James Thomson, F.B.S., 
at the meeting of the British Association at Southamp- 
ton.* Though, in order to cause the indents the pebbles 
must have been exposed to a crushing and grinding 
force against other hard substances, and the fissures 
are, apparently, dependent on the same cause, and 

* Report ; 1882, page 536. 


though the sides of the fractures are re-cemented, there 
are no indications of its having been reduced to a semi- 
plastic condition. 

Professor Thomson refers to only one author, the 
late Professor Page, who directed attention to similar 
examples ; but there is added in the Report (page 587), 
by Mr. Topley, of H.M. Geological Survey, a list of 
twenty-three papers having reference to the subject, 
chiefly by English authors, but also by French and 
American. These references extend as far back as 1795, 
to the well-known author of a " Theory of the Earth/' 
Dr. James Hutton. (Vol. I., page 467). 

Several years ago I met with two or three examples 
of quartz pebbles in the Pebble bed Sandstone, near 
Prescot, which had slight marks or notches where two 
had come in contact. During a recent visit to the large 
quarry in Holt Lane, opposite the Prescot Workhouse, 
I was unsuccessful in obtaining any from similar beds 
of sandstone, which are extensively worked there ; the 
contained pebbles are scattered, so that very few could 
be found near each other or in contact; even of these 
it was hardly possible to separate them from the matrix 
in consequence of its hardness. Near the entrance to the 
quarry, lying on the upper beds of this hard sandstone, 
there is a small patch consisting of a conglomerate, it 
may even now be called a gravel bed, of rounded 
quartzite pebbles embedded in an unconsolidated sandy 
matrix. Where it has been cut through in obtaining 
access to the quarry, the thickness is two and a-half feet, 
but it thins out entirely towards the south at a distance 
of twenty feet. It, as well as the hard sandstone where 
uncovered, is overlaid by thin bedded sandstone, which 
separates in slabs. Wherever these pebbles are in con- 
tact an indent is made to a greater or less extent in the 



hard quartzite, forming smooth and regular hollows, 
similar to those in the specimen from Aberfoyle ; and 
like it some bear many of these marks. Sometimes the 
sand (or it may be the substance removed by the grind- 
ing action) is compressed and consolidated round the 
hollows. Some of the pebbles are split in such a 
manner as to render it probable that the fracture has 
been due to the same compressing force that caused the 
indentations; in others the fractures must evidently 
be referred to other causes, for there is no relation 
between them and the indents ; in several the process 
is still incomplete, and the fissures, from the appear- 
ance of their margins, indicate that they were in 
progress at a time previous to their deposition. 

Sir A. G. Bamsay has given what appears to be the 
correct explanation of these indentations in Triassic and 
other pebbles. He states that "these stones are all 
beautifully rounded ; and where they touch in the rock 
they are not scratched, but indent each other air the 
points of contact ; the indentations being due to the fact 
that, while these gravels were still incoherent, newer 
strata were piled upon them, and the vertical pressure, 
consequent on this vast superincumbent pile, induced a 
lateral pressure in the loose-lying pebbles of the con- 
glomerate ; so that, being squeezed not only downwards 
but outwards, they ground on each other, and, partly by 
the aid of intervening grains of sand, circular indenta- 
tions were formed, sometimes an inch in diameter." * 
It has occurred to me that the grinding movement 
required to produce the depressions might, to some 
extent, be increased by the removal of support when the 
water was drained from the rock-strata by elevation 
above the sea-level. 

* Quarterly Journal Geological Society, vol. xi., page 200. 






A. C. BAMSAY, F.B.S., F.G.S., London. 

JOHN MORRIS, F.G.S., London. 



HENRY HICKS, F.G.S., M.R.C.S.E., London. 

W. KING, D.Sc., Queen's College, Galway. 

JOHN W. JUDD, F.R.S., F.G.S., London. 


• »' 


♦ARCHER, F., B.A., Boundary Cottage, Crosby. 

14, Cook Street. 
♦fBEASLEY, H. C, Prince Alfred Road, Warertree. 
*BOSTOCK, R., 8, Grange Lane, Birkenhead. 
•BROWN, J. CAMPBELL, D.Sc., F.C.S., 27, Abercromby Square. 
DAVIES, C, 8, Kinglake Street, Edge Hill. 
DODD, J., 2, Derby Terrace, Rock Ferry. 
♦fESKRIGGE, R. A., F.G.S., The Woodlands, New Brighton. 

18, Hackin's Hey. 
FITZPATRICK, M., 62, Seel Street. 


FITZPATRICK, J. J., 62, Seel Street. 

fFOSTER, E., 7, Newstead Road, Smithdown Road. 

GREEN, A., York House, Old Chester Road, Rock Ferry. 

9, Canning Place. 
^GRIFFITHS, J., 4, Exton Park, Chester. 
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17, Dale Street. 
HANCE, E. W., LL.B. (Hon. Treasurer), Municipal Offices, Dale Street. 
HATHAWAY, T., C.E., The Mount, Bangor, North Wales. 
HERDMAN, W. A., Prof., D.Sc, F.L.S., F.R.S.E., University College. 
•HIGGINS, H. H., Bev., MA, Rainhill. 

HEWITT, W., B.Sc, 21, Verulam Street, Upper Parliament Street. 
JACKSON, G. 0., 15, Trafalgar Road, Birkdale, Southport. 
JEFFS, 0. W., 8, Queen's Road, Rock Ferry. 
JOHNSON, J. H., F.G.S., 64, Albert Road, Southport. 
JONES, T., Top Lane, Wallasey. 

Orange Court, Castle Street. 
LEA, T., Vale Cottage, Huyton Quarry. 

♦MACKINTOSH, D., F.G S., 32, Glover St., Borough Road, Birkenhead. 
*McCLAY, J. L., Rose Villa, Victoria Road, Oxton. 
*MARRAT, F. P., 21, Kinglake Street. 
MANSELL, Rev. J., 10, Kremlin Drive, Stoneycroft. 
♦MOORE, T. J., C.M.Z.S.L., Newsham Drive, Newsham Park. 

Liverpool Museum. 
MORTIMER, Captain, Liverpool. 
♦fMORTON, G. H., F.G.S., F.R.G.S.I., (Hon. Secretary), 4, Onslow Rd., 

Elm Park. 122, London Road. * 
McMILLAN, A., Conway, North Wales. 
PATERSON, J., C.E., F.G.S., Palmyra Street, Warrington. 
PARKINSON, J. C, 3, Alexandra Road, Waterloo. 
PEARSE, W., 21, Harrington Street. 

Green Bank Farm, Wavertree. 
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.4 and 5, Queen Buildings, Dale Street. 
♦POTTER, C., 101, Miles Street. 

PEARSON, J. E., C.E., F.G.S., Golborn* Park, near Newtan-le-Willows. 
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Canning Chambers, 4, South John Street. 
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